Annual townwide yardsale.
Every fall, our town has a community-wide yardsale.
I train for it all year.
Previous years here, here, here.
Before I begin this year’s post, I would like to take a moment to congratulate myself that I did not buy any dishes!
Self has a dish problem, and I am attempting an intervention… shockingly, it was successful!
(translation: I did not see any dishes I needed)
Self also has a problem with vintage linens, but everyone knows that you cannot do anything about a linen addiction.
As I picked up all of the bedspreads at the very first yardsale, Paul was like– don’t you already have those exact same ones?
And I was like— yes.
I also got a few bags of towels— whenever I can yardsale towels or blankets at a great price, I buy them for the animal shelter… there is literally no such thing as too many towels at an animal shelter!!
Then I got a snazzy vintage handbag… because as previously established, Crazy Great Aunt Chic is my thing.
Also as previously established: I have difficulty making reasonable choices; so I didn’t hesitate to
waste a dollar invest in a kitten-sized beach chair.
This is why Paul carries the money; so that we only end up with 5 items of total crap, rather than 97.
After I got the chair, of course I also needed a kitten-sized afghan… it would be irresponsible to let them go the beach without a blanket this time of year!
I’m sorry to report that neither of the current kittens were interested in modeling their new possessions.
Now. The day’s best find (objectively) was this cast iron Victorian garden chair… which you’ll either think is fabulous or creepy; it was made to sit by a grave. F.H. Hort’s, to be exact.
The guy selling it got it from a neighbor who was moving, so I wasn’t able to figure out if Mr. Hort was a local resident.
More importantly, this is why I love the Victorians: because they understood the need for fancy things at all times… EVEN IN DEATH.
You DIED, but you still need fancy things.
THIS LOGIC PLEASES ME.
This is called “curtain style” a variety of very ornate cast iron garden furniture from the Victorian era… it’s not super common, and it’s hard to find at a price that is not astronomical.
More facts: it weighs 47,982 tons.
The BEST PART is that it was made in Philadelphia!
It is stamped with the city, AND the same foundry that the giant cast iron garden urn we restored came from!
As we were buying it, Paul said— what are we doing with this?
And I said– well, first we are going to put it in the car… then we are going to take it out of the car… then I’m going to ask you to carry it all around the house, inside and out… then I will probably decide to sell it.
My psychic powers of prediction are awe-inspiring!
I paid $10.
It sold for $200.
Is it “worth” more than that? Eh… maybe. Especially if I had a pair! Detailed iron work like this from the turn of the century is really amazing!!
It was one of those things that I could have sat on for a while, waiting for the right buyer… and sometimes I feel like doing that! But sometimes I’m like WHY DO I HAVE ALL THIS CRAP SOMEONE PLEASE TAKE IT FROM ME.
Finally, my (personal, non-objective) best score was finding a woman who has my exact taste in books… I basically threw myself over the tarp and shouted— mine!
Used books are incredibly exciting to me; I have discovered some of my favorite books through the randomness of other people getting rid of their finished reading material.
I love social/cultural history (i.e. the non-boring kind), family stories, and anything memoir; especially where people do stupid and misguided things to ruin their own lives!
I really enjoy feeling like poor life-choices are a valuable part of existence and that therefore I am doing just fine.
Two FULL bags of books is equivalent to Christmas.
The ONLY time I buy books that I have not read before is if they are super cheap. Like CENTS… if I’m going to spend real money on a book, I need to know that I absolutely love it and will enjoy re-reading it lots of times.
I will languish months and months on the library’s waiting list because it irritates me to buy something and be disappointed.
This is all I left behind.
I LOVE The Big House, (and already own it)… if you have an interest in American architecture, Gilded Age history, or memoirs, I think you will really enjoy it!
October 17, 2017 @ 11:13 am
I loved your Insta story where you tried to buy those red bows. I don’t even know what they were but I was laughing so hard.
October 17, 2017 @ 11:17 am
Whatever you decide to write about, I will enjoy reading it!
October 17, 2017 @ 11:29 am
Is it weird that I’m sad you sold the chair? I feel like *it* was probably sad to leave your home, where it could have made friends and been appreciated, and instead it will wind up in the window display of a fancy flower shop where they sell single dahlias for ten dollars and spend fifteen minutes wrapping them in brown paper and twine, then add a letterpress tag with the name of the store which is like Lead Paint Mercantile Flora and Fauna?
October 17, 2017 @ 12:09 pm
I love this comment so much that I’m not leaving one of my own.
October 17, 2017 @ 4:28 pm
October 17, 2017 @ 2:03 pm
I am also thrilled with your comment. I began drooling over the chair, not because I have room for it in my tiny house but because it looks like it has a nice, gentle personality. I’m sorry it’s sold and hope whomever bought it loves it as it deserves.
October 17, 2017 @ 2:56 pm
Once I buy it, it’s mine forever. Might be covered in a sheet in the garage from time to time but is always in the used cycle. Wish I could have bought it for $10!!
October 19, 2017 @ 1:43 am
I was also like – say it an’t so! How could you sell that gorgeous piece of Victorian charm. Very hopeful that the chair found a loving home where she will be appreciated and celebrated
October 17, 2017 @ 11:33 am
“The Big House” is a wonderful book, which I too got at a yard sale for $1 or less.
You make me laugh… afghan and beach chair for the kittens.
October 17, 2017 @ 11:40 am
I don’t share your passion for all things Victorian (although I do like some random items) and I frequently wonder why you would want to have your house full of Victorian crap when you can have nice modern furniture (I do realize that the Victorian crap is real wood while the modern stuff is some ghastly imitation of [at least for the most part]). I wanted to unsubscribe from your blog so many times, you have no idea. But I can’t because your posts are so amusing that I just have keep reading. And because when I am passionate about something like you are, I behave the same way. So I guess we are kindred spirits, indirectly.
Good job on the cemetery chair and kudos on selling it with a profit. When I buy something at a yard sale with a similar intention (i.e. to sell it) I either end up keeping it or I will lose money on it. Like I will buy it for $50 and sell it for $10.
October 17, 2017 @ 11:45 am
“Crazy Great Aunt Chic”…at last, my style has a name!
Teri in England
October 17, 2017 @ 12:00 pm
that’s what I thought! Love this blog x
October 17, 2017 @ 2:05 pm
I think you need to be A) VEB or B) an actual crazy great aunt to make that bag look chic.
October 17, 2017 @ 11:59 am
Bravo on the purchase and sale of that chair, however did you let it go after all that poetic license about dead people… masterful control. You would have had to… wait for it… pry it from my cold dead hands.
October 17, 2017 @ 2:02 pm
Bonus points for that one!
October 17, 2017 @ 12:15 pm
I just finished reading The Big House and loved it (got it from the library). Wish it had pictures in it!! We have a huge book problem at home so I TRY not to buy any more–if I bought everything I read there would be no room to move at all in this house. The hot-water plate collection/infestation is bad enough.
October 17, 2017 @ 12:24 pm
Omg, you are hands down the most funny antique/blogger/hoarder/shouter/ALL CAPS USER I’ve ever read. And also you’re quirky and borderline eccentricly crazy, which are my all time favorite character traits in a non-fur covered person. You inspire me to to write my own blog. <3
October 17, 2017 @ 12:46 pm
Your annual Townside Sale is a DEFCON 5 GLOP ALERT!! Love the purse!! My sister and I have the dishes/linens/kitsch hoarder-disorder – w affectionately call all things fancy and vital to the soul “glop”. I would have left with a ton of vintage dinner napkins (my weakness) to add to the many sets I already have. We are headed for a Spa Girls Weekend over the holidays together that includes a Winter Wonderland (& Christmas Store) … I’m already planning a 1/2 empty suitcase with packing material so I can safely bring my treasures home.
October 17, 2017 @ 12:57 pm
what a lovely talent you have for transforming a bit of mundanity into fascinating comedy and wit, me living your adventures would be an effective soporific-substitute you and Paul and I’m wearing a grin from ear to ear and kinda sad that the fairy dust you sprinkle over all things ordinary has to end. So you do realize now that you can never stop-the earth itself would sink into grey skies and deep depression.
More kittens-dancing and books!
October 17, 2017 @ 12:58 pm
Thank you so much for the book recommendation! Hopefully the library will give it to me right when I finish reading The Last Tudor. xAllie http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com
October 17, 2017 @ 1:13 pm
I stumbled over your blog by accident. I now repeatedly check my email to see if you have posted anything new lately. I share many of your quirks. I about fell over laughing at your description of what you would do with the chair. It is so something I would do, but I live in the land of denial and would never admit it. Thanks for keeping me amused. Now for some kitten stories.
October 17, 2017 @ 1:33 pm
I have an addiction to thrift stores because sometimes I find the most awesome things for practically nothing, which unfortunately can lead to a new addiction. I recently found a Willcox and Gibbs sewing machine from the early 1900’s for around $18 and some change and fell in love with it! And now for some reason, the thrift stores keep getting in all these vintage sewing machines with the beautiful gilded decals all over them and I must be strong as my hubby has declared I must show more restraint. I walked away from a vintage Wilson sewing machine yesterday that I could have gotten for $60 with the cabinet! That magnet is very hard to fight against! Last week they had a Rocketeer, and another thrift store has an early White Rotary sewing machine. Let me be clear. I already have four less vintage sewing machines, not including the Willcox and Gibbs. I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE SEWING MACHINES – EVEN IF THEY ARE PRETTY! Hubby decided a couple weeks ago we will be moving in the spring. I must downsize. It is painful, but necessary. You are lucky to live in a nicely sized home so you have room for all those beautiful Victorian things.
October 17, 2017 @ 1:48 pm
Ok, what do you call those nubbley (is that a word?) throw/blanket/linnens??? I’ve been searching for some myself, but never know what to call them and can never find any 🙁
October 17, 2017 @ 2:02 pm
Lara, they are “chenille” bedspreads and can be found anywhere! Make sure to fully undo them if folded as they can have tears and stains on them. They come in all sorts of wonderful colors and designs. Keep looking, they are out there!
October 17, 2017 @ 2:07 pm
October 17, 2017 @ 2:09 pm
They’re chenille. I truly love vintage chenille and even make some myself (which is nice but lot vintage! 😉 )
October 17, 2017 @ 9:07 pm
I love those very light tufted sheets for summer bed covers. Check out Southern Tufts, by Ashley Callahan for a history of chenille. Great photos!
October 17, 2017 @ 1:57 pm
I love town yard sales! I once bought an Hermès scarf for $2 that I then sold for $187!
Yay! More money to buy random parts that I may/ will certainly need someday!
October 17, 2017 @ 2:02 pm
Who wouldn’t want more dishes? I have my grandmother’s china and have luxuriously found I can add to it with an outfit called Replacements. I have cheap dishes, I have fun dishes, I have Christmas dishes I have Easter dishes. AND I expect to inherit another set. There are never too many dishes. Towels for the shelter is a wonderful idea!
October 17, 2017 @ 2:06 pm
Too funny I also have a dish and linen problem, too! My Dad collected Limoge dishes for years and even has some of his purchases listed in a huge book someone wrote a few years ago. I have no idea where I got the linen issue from! I do sell them on ebay, though, but keep those I cannot part with.
Great reading and pics today!
October 17, 2017 @ 2:09 pm
Every single time I read your posts I am absolutely convinced that we were seperated at birth 😉
October 17, 2017 @ 2:50 pm
Oh my goodness, you sound like me. I would have kept the chair. I have a chair fetish, a pretty china fetish, an elegant depression glass (Heisey) fetish, and religious items made before 1900; however our daughter needs to move in with us, I am now 80 and I have too much stuff I absolutely love. No one wants it. I do, but we are not going to add on another room of the house. Out in California no one wants this stuff. Help.
I love your posts. I totally understand “I can’t Believe I found this!”