Sad little pile of yard sale finds.

Shara told me not to go out yesterday, because there was too much going on in our neck of the woods (traffic) and the temps were hovering around 100 degrees (sweating). She turned out to be absolutely right, but not on the basis of those two factors — but because my bad-decision-making switch was decidedly in the “on” position from the moment I got up in the morning. The first yard sale I hit looked like it was going to be a humdinger — they were still in the process of bringing out boxes and boxes of really old, really pretty stuff. GREAT! They were former antiques dealers. BAD. Especially since nothing was priced and I had no way of knowing how expensive things were going to be. I HATE that. People, price your stuff. Really. Otherwise, what is a customer to do?  “How much is that? How much is that? How much is that? How much is that?” I did a test ask — just to gauge how much things might run — and asked about this cute little angel set.

The woman said $1, which, hey, I can do that, and I kind of assumed that things were going to be pretty affordable and gathered a little stack in front of me. The angels, plus these items.

I asked her to tally me up, she does some kind of silent accounting in her head, and comes out with $25. TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. That is not the kind of coin I usually pay at yard sales unless we are talking about a piece of furniture. The worst part of it is I just nodded and paid her. WHY? I don’t know. Fear of being rude. The crowd was starting to get pushy and I just wanted out of there. I really wanted a few of those items and felt bad about putting some down and asking her to re-tally. Ridiculous. I could have been perfectly polite about indicating that that was more than I wanted to pay, but instead, I sucked it up and gave her the money and spent the rest of the day regretting it. I mean, I’m really trying to keep yard sale spending below $40 every weekend and that was more than half of what I intended to spend all day. I don’t really think that amount was too too terribly expensive — I think the vase and the flower frog are probably easily worth that between them, but for re-sale, that’s more than I want to spend. Plus, I’ve kind of been trying to get away from smalls like this in the booth. But the flower frog is truly beautiful.

It’s not marked, so I have no idea how to find out how to price it. Anyone? Anyone?

So it was a crappy start to the morning, and I followed that sale up by going to three or four more unimpressive sales before hitting one that, as soon as I parked the car, I could tell should have been first on my list. SO FRUSTRATING when that happens. It’s bad enough when you can tell that the sale had stuff that you would have purchased, but you’re just inferring that from the caliber of stuff left behind; it’s even worse when that stuff is being snapped up right in front of your horrified eyes. I mean, I just missed so many things. A gorgeous mini-file cabinet. About fourteen pieces of pink depression glass, including a bowl of a size I’ve never seen before, all priced at a couple of dollars each. A woman had a pile of stuff in middle of the driveway so big — I thought it resembled someone’s stash but then thought, nah, it can’t be, it’s TOO BIG and started shopping from it — only to be tartly informed it was already taken. And the stuff that was in that pile. Friends, I’ve been trying to block it from my memory since Saturday. For example, I dug this piece of fabric out of the bottom of the box:

If that isn’t the cutest fabric EVER, I just don’t know what. This lady had a STACK of 1940s fabric in her stash. Really, there was nothing to do but gnash my teeth.

I did get this great milk glass compote (?) for $3.

And the oldest Golden Book I’ve ever seen (1942), with Goldencraft Cloth Binding. It’s in terrible shape, but the illustrations are cute.

Also, got three very old World Book Encyclopedias.

These will be pilfered for ephemera packs, since the illustrations are SO GORGEOUS. Including this spread, destined to be a set of framed prints. I’m thinking red polka dot mats and cream frames.

BTW, why would their great-grandmothers not have known what a tomato was? I suppose I will have to read the entry to figure it out.

At a different yard sale, I listlessly picked up this faux-old rabbit.

Ran into my friend Barb, finally, about mid-morning, and she found this great flour sifter at the sale we were at and generously offered it to me.


And at the same sale I got this cute oven-to-table baker.

The only other purchase of note were the pair of vintage fiberglass children’s chairs I got for $3.

Are you bored yet? Me too. But wait. There was still one more bad decision. And that was my decision to drive miles and miles and miles north to Rogers to hit a few sales that sounded good BUT WERE NOT. It was on this trip that I realized how similar my yard sale habits were to gambling. If you’re losing hands in poker, you desperately try to double down and see if you can recoup your losses. Same with yard saling. I just want to keep going, keep driving, convinced that I will find a sale that will make my morning worth it and make up for all the gas I’m using. In other words, I THINK I HAVE A PROBLEM. Yard Sales Anonymous, anyone?

There are only three weekends left between now and the barn sale, and I still don’t feel like I have enough stuff to make my tent as attractive as I want to. Worse yet, yard sale season is winding to a close. That’s not the case in Chicago, alas, where the Andersonville Neighborhood Sale is scheduled for next week (sob, this will be the first time in 18 years I’ve missed it!) and the church rummage sales are about to go into full swing. Here’s hoping there are some good buys still out there for the next couple of weeks.


Linking to The Nifty Thrifty over on A Living Space.

September 1, 2013 - 7:46 pm

Eddie Mitchell I have a weakness for kid’s chairs, so I love the ones you found. It’s been rough slogging here all summer. I’ve only had one or two decent hauls. I have a rule for those situations when others have gotten to the goodies before me: I repeat to myself that it’s only stuff and there will be more stuff in the future, then I let it go. You can’t haunted by what might have been. I’m sure you’re going to do fine at the barn sale. I can’t wait to see how you (and Shara) do there.

September 1, 2013 - 10:07 pm

Heather I was just walking around the world wide web and feel right in to your blog!! I could SWOON!!! So darling and so me!! We are junk soul sisters!! Love your everything!!!

September 1, 2013 - 10:59 pm

Shara This Shara that you speak of. She sounds bossy.

I think what you found this weekend looks great, but it sounds like you worked hard for it! I wouldn’t have had $25.00 to give that lady – I can imagine your shock! I did that once n a box of key chains for my son – paid about $35.00 for a box full and knew at that moment it was too much, but what could I do? Like you would say – “Chin up, Buttercup!” That reminds me – I saw a sign to day – “Suck it up, Buttercup” thought I would throw that one your way for your sign making.

My favorite time for sales is actually still coming. Lots of sales in October around here – the cooler the better. There is a sale at Valley View Golf Course this weekend – lots of houses with nice stuff. I think it would be a good sale for you. (There goes that bossy old Shara once again.) I think I am going to go to The Duggars big Rummage Sale. If nothing else, it will be good blog fodder and a chance to see my old pals Jim Bob and Michele.

September 1, 2013 - 11:19 pm

Lara Jo Heather! So happy you found me! Now I’m off to read your blog cover to cover. There’s nothing quite like finding someone who shares your passion for the right kind of junk. Thanks so much for finding me and for writing!

September 2, 2013 - 3:48 am

Marsha I sent the info about the Andersonville sale to my son, Ali. He and his fiancée live there now. Sorry you’ll miss it! And the Duggers have a rummage sale?? Oh, my! I have an OLD book from my childhood duct taped together but I don’t think it has great illustrations. I’ll have to dig it out and have a look!

September 2, 2013 - 9:14 am

Melissa Well crap on a cracker, sorry you had a rough yard sale day!
You did score some pretty cool stuff though. That frog is awesome and I’m loving the little scrap of fabric. And the kids chairs are fantastic!

September 2, 2013 - 3:39 pm

Sarah Oh that fabric. I would have probably cried to see the rest of it in someone else’s hands.


Any marks on that pottery frog? HOWEVER, and this is a big fat however, I think I remember from my pottery collecting days that often those nude women are falsely billed as art deco when no such thing existed then.

BUT, maybe? Its worth some research.

September 2, 2013 - 5:21 pm

Shara I was doing a little research on that flower frog. it could be Camark, which is made in Arkansas. One on Etsy shows up in Google images, but it is gone from the actual Etsy site. I think it would be Art Nouveau and not Art Deco. Now, let me WARN YOU. Do NOT Google Camark Nude when your kids re hear because some SERIOUS hardcore PORN pictures showed up and I was NOT prepared to see what I saw when I saw what I saw. WoW. I can’t unsee that.

September 2, 2013 - 7:21 pm

L’Heure Bleue At Home I always feel shy about dickering as well. You still found lots of great things! I love the vegetable illustrations and the children’s fibreglass chairs.

September 3, 2013 - 9:39 am

Heather I, too, hate unpriced yard sales! I think it’s just laziness, and I’ve gotten to the point where I won’t even ask for prices – I just leave. The flower frog adn the little blue vase truly are beautiful, though! I’m sure you’ll do well with both of them.

September 5, 2013 - 7:44 pm

Lara Jo It is laziness, and I think it’s also convenient for the seller to price their items depending on who’s interested, what time of day it is, etc. What I hate most of all, though, is when I ask “how much” only to be answered, “Oh, I don’t know, what will you offer me?” I have a REALLY hard time being polite at that point!! Glad you like the frog and the vase — those were my favorites from that sale as well. I’ve KIND OF recovered from the shock of the prices at this point. 🙂

September 5, 2013 - 7:47 pm

Lara Jo You know, I used to dicker with the best of them! In my twenties, I wouldn’t buy something without bargaining first. Now I only buy stuff that I think is priced fairly and walk away from the rest. Wonder if I’ve just gotten soft in my old age? I LOVE those vegetables and am still wondering why great-grandmothers would not have recognized a tomato. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

September 5, 2013 - 7:48 pm

Lara Jo See, I really do not know of what I speak. I think I use “art deco” and “art nouveau” interchangeably. I need to study more. That’s my excuse for surfing the Internet.

September 5, 2013 - 7:49 pm

Lara Jo I do love those chairs. I could have sold those for a mint at one of the big sales I used to do in Chicago. Don’t know how they’ll go over in Arkansas but I’m about to find out!

September 5, 2013 - 7:51 pm

Lara Jo Your philosophy is spot on, Eddie. I need to study at your house of Zen to get to a place where I’m not more concerned about what I missed out on than what I walked away with. I hate that about myself. And as my husband says (and I really do believe), if I found it once, I’ll find it again!!

Re: the barn sale: good news! You’ll get not one but two exhaustive reports about it! I think Shara and I are pretty ready for it to be over at this point. It can’t possibly live up the hype that we’ve given it in our minds.

September 5, 2013 - 11:59 pm

S~ FUN STUFF! You & Shara are going to steal the show at the Barn Sale, so STOP WORRYING!! ((BOTH of YOU!))
As for your nude flower frog, can’t help you with the maker – but I was thinking it might be copied after The Little Mermaid from Denmark

September 6, 2013 - 12:39 pm

Lara Jo Thank you!! It does look very similar!

September 10, 2013 - 6:04 pm

The Thriftaholic (Leilani) I’ve had more issues at estate sales than garage sales here… mainly my own fault as I spend way more than I would have to make up for the fact that I waited a while to get in, spent an hour digging through an attic, etc. It happens but in you case, it’s worth it; the flower frog is Art Nouveau and worth about $125. Not sure if you’re planning on selling it locally or online. You should sell it on ebay or etsy!