Why 'My Mink Betty'?

Why 'My Mink Betty'?
I'm not your common, everyday twenty-something year old and when I graduated from High School I got an equally uncommon gift. My parents found for me a beautiful 1940's mink stole at a garage sale. It had belonged to the woman's Great Aunt Betty who had married late in life to a man with money and had only allowed him to buy her this one luxury. The unusually styled stole has the name, Betty L. Jones, embroidered in the satin lining so that's what I call her. They never had children of their own and the mink was passed to Aunt Betty's niece and on to her daughter. Until it got to me, no one since Aunt Betty had worn it. Now Betty the mink and I go to the theater together on special occasions and I hope that someday I can take her to the Symphony or the Ballet. Although Betty hadn't been worn or loved for many years she was waiting for someone to love her again as are most other things I look for when thrifting.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Of Jiffy-Lube and Pink Aluminum

Since starting back to school, I haven't had much time for thrifting or garage sales. It's been mostly go to class, go to work, homework, sleep, rinse, repeat.

But last Thursday, as I was returning from work, I saw a sign from the heavens. Well, ok, it was a sign on the Jiffy-Lube marquee. But seriously, when do you see an estate sale advertised at the Jiffy-Lube? It was meant to be. The sale was to begin Friday morning, early, before my 1st class. A quick call to Mom to mapquest the route and time from the college and I figured I could make it there and back before school.

I didn't find a lot of things, but it was definitely worth the trip. First, there was the red dinette table for $20. When my brother heard about my yellow one, he asked Mom to look for one for him. It's very faded, and the chrome needs a good cleaning, but it's really solid, so I hope he likes it.

Then there are the books for a friend of mine whose family is very involved in Scouting: a 1968 Boy Scout Handbook and a 1948 Lion Cub book, 25c each. They threw in the first aid book for free. The Pyrex butter dish and coffee cup were 85c. And that aqua gadget is a Popeil Chop-O-Matic for 75c.

This pretty peacock couch scarf was free. I really like peacocks and this one's gorgeous. Here's hoping I can get the stain out.

This was the most surprising find: ~23 pair of vintage knitting needles for $8 (35c/pr). It wasn't surprising that I found them; I've seen them before at estate sales. I just had no idea how much they cost new.

You see, I don't knit. Mom doesn't knit. But my sister knits.

Apparently so does Dad. Or at least he learned how. It seems the cool thing for boys to do in 3rd grade in small town North Dakota in 1959 was to use sharpened pencils and cotton string to make an oh-so-hip washcloth. And the boys in my school thought learning to play the recorder was lame. Ha!

Anyway, my sister knits. So when I saw the knitting needles, I called Mom, and she said to buy all they had as she was sure we could find $8 worth in the lot. When my sister came over to have a look at them, she was thrilled. Almost every size... circular ones... double pointed ones... whatever the heck that all means... It turns out it would have cost more than $80 to buy all of them new!

I just liked them because they were pretty pink and blue and gold colored aluminum. And Mom thought they might make nice vegetable markers in the garden. Needless to say, my sister took them all away.

There's one more thing in that first picture that I haven't mentioned. It was in the free pile. And it's my favorite thing. Can you tell what it is?

This is what it looks like on the inside.

It's a West Bend pink aluminum grease can. And it matches my canister set! It really WAS meant to be!

Or it did match when they were all new, before the black coloring flaked off the lids. I intend to clean them up and paint the lids black. It appears someone has already done that to the grease can.

Sorry, blogspot rotated my picture and I'm not savvy enough to fix it.

We first saw these canisters at an estate sale back in August, but they wanted $10 for them and that was double what we wanted to pay.

Then, a few weeks later, they advertised another sale - $5 /box.
So I hurried over, and there they were, waiting for me. I figured anything else I put in my box was free.

Here are some of the "free" things I got. A Polaroid Colorpack II Camera - I've wanted a polaroid camera since I was six years old. This one appears to work, but the film is expensive so I haven't tried it out yet. Joke cocktail napkins, a baby ben clock, some vintage maps for the 1962 world's fair, a number of sewing notions, transfer patterns, etc.

Not shown are vintage linens and aprons, a staple gun, drinking glasses, a pair of military issue 1950s "birth control" (ask Drew Carey) safety glasses, and two dozen assorted melamine dishes that went to the nursery at the church for the kids to play with.

I did keep this divided bowl, creamer, and sugar. I don't think you can tell from the picture, but it's tan with tiny speckles of red.

That melmac was actually put to use by the Associate Pastor's six-year-old daughter. She made this lovely tablescape at which the younger children ate their goldfish crackers.

When I asked her what the blue thing in the center was, she gave me a patronizing look and announced it was the "decoration." Obviously, she has skills I didn't have when I was six.

I'm linking this post to:
Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday
Thrifty Thursdays at Bloggeritaville
Garage Salen Party at DebbieDoos

Friday, September 17, 2010

Look at the pretty crib.

Sorry that I haven't posted in a while, it's been a bit hectic here with classes at the college beginning soon.

A few weekends ago my mother and I went to some great estate sales a ways out from where we live. We found plenty of fun things including a nice free pile and a table that has come in quite handy.

At the first sale we got these cool aluminum lawn chairs and a game called Score Four. I'm always on the lookout for good aluminum chairs with webbing in nice condition and good metal arm rests. These are wider than most and such a fun color! I love them.

At another sale we found a lot of things for quite cheap including some Tupperware, Barbie dolls and clothes (including actual PAIRS of shoes), fun books, and this cute little puppy dog planter.

Mom and I had a slight difference of opinion. It went something like this:

Me: Look Mom, a cute puppy planter!
Mom: That's not cute.
Me: What is wrong with you?
Mom: You seriously think that's cute?
Me: I think it's adorable. And I don't even like dogs much.
Mom: How much?
Me: 75c
Mom: Okay, for 75c, it might be cute.

The yellow rake is from the same sale. My mother saw one like it a while back, and was disappointed to find it was not for sale. It's for my father so that he can rake in between his irises.

This is a child's ironing board that we got with the Barbies. It had a cover on it when we bought it so imagine our delight when we took the cover off and found this:

A family tree of the world's cutest owls! Isn't it just the most darling little thing?

While I was looking at childrens books, Mom noticed a Cosco cart full of cleaning supplies.

Mom: Look!
Me: We don't need anybody's nasty old chemicals or used soap.
Mom: Well, actually, I'm out of baby powder, but...
Me: (eyeroll) Mom!!!
Mom: The cart. Look at the pretty cart.
Me: We already have one of those we want to fix up and paint.
Mom: Looook at the pretty cart. I think this one's bigger.
Me: I don't think so... but probably won't fit in the car. (Thinking: I ain't cramming that big thing into the back seat of the car)
Mom: But look at the pretty cart.
Me: Is it even for sale?
Mom: (to seller) Is the cart for sale?
Seller: $5.00
Mom: (To me) Not a bad price, but you're probably right. We already have one and it might not fit in the car. ...But I can always use another Cosco rolling cart.
Me: eyeroll
Seller comes over: Do you want me to take the stuff off the cart?
Mom: I don't think so. I really like it, but I'm not sure it will fit in the car.
Me: (Thinking) Yay! I don't have to stuff it in the car.
Seller: If you want it, it's $3.00, and I have a screwdriver if you want to take it apart.
Me: (muttering to myself) Crap! I'm gonna have to fit that thing in the car.

(And it wasn't bigger than the other one anyone)

The third sale we went to was in a lovely Victorian house in an older neighborhood. The woman running the sale said her parents had bought the house in the 1950's and she and her sisters had grown up in it together. She had a large pile of free things at the curb that we picked through before even getting up to the house and finding the front porch full of free things including this:

Look at the pretty crib. Yes, that is the cutest freaking crib of all time. And it was FREE. We wanted desperately to take it home with us but had only taken our small Kia out and couldn't get the truck out there to be able to take it home. Later that day we went to IKEA for the first time and I was shocked and a little bit disgusted to find that their cribs look more like animal cages than something I'd want to put a baby in.

From the free pile we got a few things for use in gardening, a cup from a boy scout camp set, a plastic dinosaur (my favorite), some oven mitts for my brother's new place, a large wire laundry basket with liner, and my mother's favorite: a roll of chicken wire! When we went to pay for our things the woman running the sale told us we had to take a clock as her mother had collected them and there were far too many to dispose of otherwise. We carefully chose this tacky little beauty:

At the top of the hour it plays the sound of the animal it is pointing to. It battles with the Rugrats clock I got for my 10th birthday as to which is tackier. I just can't decide.

As we were leaving the sale I saw this outside:

That is a Handy Table and Chair Set made by the Milwaukee Stamping Co. It's a picnic table that folds down into the size of a slim suitcase but is very heavy. There was also a yellow one but it was in much sadder condition.

Deja Vu conversation:

Me: Look at the pretty table.
Mom: It won't fit in the car.
Me: Look at the pretty table.
Mom: eyeroll
Me: But it folds...
You get the drift.

So for only $5.00 we brought home the green one. My father, upon seeing it, told us that in the late 50's his Mother owned one and used it to take dinner to his father out in the fields (they worked a farm). He believes she got it with green stamps.

And this box of jars was also $5.00. It contains mostly short pints with glass lids but also a few blue jars and one half gallon size clear mason. I used my mad packing skills and got everything into the car, but we were pretty much out of money and out of space. Time to head home.

On our way home we hit one more sale and found a fun souvenir apron (I have always had a love of vintage aprons) from Reno, Nevada.

Here is the table with a few of the best things we got:

The Score Four, Scrabble, and apron pattern are all from the first sale. The box of card stock "Christmas leaves" came from the second sale, and the circus pillowcase is from the third sale (the dinosaur is from the free pile). Isn't the Reno apron just so fun?

I'm linking this post to:
Thrifty Thursdays at Bloggeritaville
Garage Salen Party at DebbieDoos
Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday
Thrify Treasures at Southern Hospitality Blog
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
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