Tagged: vintage

my favorite rummage sale : the haul 2013

rummage sale in the horse barn

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year: Rummage Sale Day. Every fall, the “ladies’ board” of a local hospital holds an enormous rummage sale. And enormous is quite possibly an understatement. The sale takes over four horse barns – a giant show arena and three smaller structures – and even that much space can hardly hold the amount of stuff up for grabs.

The photo above shows the big arena in the distance behind the trees… and this photo was taken on my way out, so 90% of the cars had left already. Plus there was a ton more parking behind me. It’s a big deal.

rummage sale in the horse barn

The main arena holds furniture, housewares, frames/art/knicknacks, and clothing. The shot above includes a bit over half of the space – that’s the furniture and home side. The other half of the barn has tables and racks piled with clothes. There’s another barn filled with books, another with toys, and yet another small one with holiday decorations. We always skip toys and holiday because we certainly don’t need more of that kind of stuff.

This year, I managed to avoid buying any clothes – or any furniture! And as much as I love a good treasure, it’s a relief to come home without any big new projects.

rummage sale in the horse barn

It’s a completely crazy event, filled with tons of stuff, tons of junk, and tons of people. Sorry guys, I would never buy a couch at a rummage sale. But they sure have a lot of them if you’re interested.

rummage sale in the horse barn - glassware

It’s overwhelming in the best way. My mom and I go back and forth throughout the event from, “oh, that’s kindof cool,” or “oh, that is hideous!” It’s hilarious and wonderful. We spend the whole time laughing at ourselves, at each other, and at the terrible stuff that ends up on those tables.

rummage sale in the horse barn - fabric tables

Since I didn’t “fill-a-bag” with clothes this year, I was happy to see that the fabric selection was excellent. There was another table not shown here, and I had a blast.

rummage sale in the horse barn - my scrap fabrics

After picking out a few of the measured/cut fabric pieces, I found the boxes of scrap under the table. Fill a bag for $1.00, my favorite game! I pulled a bag from their selection and immediately burst out laughing, because the bag I had randomly selected was HUGE. Some of the scraps were quite large, and I was especially thrilled to find lots of wool scraps in all different colors. I’ve always wanted a small wool collection and it seems I’ve inherited one from somebody awesome.

rummage sale in the horse barn - ugly hassock

This rummage sale is also the home of my original hassock! I think the one I picked up was just a bit better than the one for sale this year (shown above), would you agree?

It’s one of my favorite events, for sure. Ready to see my treasures?

rummage sale - fabric cuts

These are the fabric cuts I picked up from the fabric table. On the bottom are a boring gold bottomweight (that should match my favorite gold-and-white stripe from IKEA) and a white knit with cute turquoise motifs. Then two small cuts of plaid wool, $1 each. Finally we have the gorgeous off-white fabric in the back, it’s a really high quality home-dec weight with green birds and peach flowers and the front of the fabric feels like cotton but the back is satiny. Just lovely. And the cool purple/pink/gold stripe on top is only 12″ wide – the picture shows the full width – but the piece is huge and the weave of the stuff is incredible. I can’t wait to turn it into the world’s easiest table runner!

rummage sale - turquoise pendleton wool

And then this is my rummage sale Find of the Year. Nearly three yards of true Pendleton wool, in my favorite shade of perfect turquoise. For $8.

rummage sale - turquoise pendleton wool label detail

It even comes with this awesome label that you’re supposed to sew into the garment when it’s finished so that everyone knows how classy the fabric is. I’m so excited about this. My favorite dress coat (here) is already a wool in this color, so I’m not sure what I’ll make with it, but I have some time to decide… it’s going to take me awhile to work up the courage to cut into this stuff.

rummage sale scrap fabric bag

The fabric fun isn’t over! Here’s my giant, full bag of “scraps”.

rummage sale scrap fabric bag

rummage sale scrap fabric bag

The two stacks of solid colors in the back? Those are all wools. All of the pieces are decently sized, too – a perfect wool collection for me. My mom thinks I should make a quilt… how gorgeous would that be? I have been toying with the idea of a solid triangle quilt for some time, and wool would add a wonderful extra dimension. But that would eat up my brand new wool collection pretty quickly… we’ll see.

Then in the front are a bunch of cottons. On top is a vintage-look (or maybe real vintage, obviously) floral print that has the best colors ever. It’s a half yard and it makes me very happy. Below it is a red-orange, a full yard, with stripes printed on the diagonal. Can’t wait to use that one! Some less-exciting-but-useful pieces, and then some small beautifully textured home dec samples.

The total for all my fabrics: scraps, Pendleton, and cuts; was $20. Considering that’s less than what one yard of the Pendleton costs, I’m thinking I did alright.

rummage sale books

I snagged a handful of books, including that great German for Children and Fashion Tailoring… also a Lutheran Bible in German, and a copy of Vonnegut’s Bluebeard in special hardcover. That was especially exciting for me – I’ve made it a long-long-term goal to collect cool hardcover copies of Vonnegut’s novels, and this is only my second. It was a pretty triumphant moment. $6.10 total in the book barn.

rummage sale - glass canisters

Finally my small selection of housewares finds: four tall, clear glass canisters that are begging to be filled with something colorful; two small snap-lid canisters with pretty plants & kitchen utensils doodled on; and three milk glass snack dishes with the little knob handles that I just love. $3.50. The guy who priced these for me was clearly an awesome old man.

I feel good about this year’s finds. No huge projects, just some good, fun stuff. And of course that Pendleton wool. I can’t get over that one.

A day full of old stuff, fabric, fall weather, and laughing with my mom… it’s hard to beat Rummage Sale Day!

Here’s the site with the details of the Ladies’ Board Rummage Sale, in case you want to bookmark it for next year! Always a good time.

As always, click any image to see it larger!

i’m addicted to possibilities (and vintage wooden furniture.)

wooden vintage mid-century dresser

I’ve decided that I am addicted to possibilities. I’m a possibilities addict, if you will.

And that is why I couldn’t leave this gorgeous, if unloved, mid-century wooden dresser at Goodwill on Sunday*.

The entire purpose of my drive to Goodwill, by the way, was to drop off a donation… an old dresser of mine. Because I had a new one and didn’t need it anymore.


wooden mid-century dresser - broken handles

First of all, and most importantly, this dresser is gorgeous. It is my favorite shade of wood: not too dark but not light. It’s a great size, because it’s not a giant piece of furniture and would be able to find a place in just about any room. It’s wonderfully square. It’s heavy and real wood. The handles are awesome. And it has hairpin legs.

When I spotted it, I gave it a good once-over. First: the handles on the bottom drawer had broken off. Bad news. I began to consider how it would look without a bottom drawer, even: could that serve as a little shelf instead? But the handles were inside! And I have strong faith in the power of wood glue combined with clever clamping.

wooden mid-century dresser - scuffed wood

Next, the general condition of the wood. Overall, I believe that the wood on this dresser is in fine shape. There are some finish irregularities in areas – and this side is quite splotchy – but I think I’ll be able to refresh it without even doing a heavy sanding. And with the color as it is, I am not restaining. I love its current shade too much to mess with it.

wooden mid-century dresser - bleached top

The top of the dresser is the only part that needs heavier work. There are some small water rings/spots (white, thank goodness, not black!), and the whole surface is just lacking in color, most likely from too much sun in its fairly long lifetime. There’s a chance it will need some sanding and some rejuvenation. But I’m not afraid of it.

So it’s true, I’ve given myself another project. But I couldn’t leave it at the store because of the possibility of the rejuvenated piece. I had so much hope for this broken, unloved piece of furniture. I could see what it could be. And that possibility was far too great for me to say no to. In fact, I believe that I love this dresser more because it isn’t perfect. Because it needs some work. Because it has so much potential… so much possibility. If I had found the same thing in mint condition, I may have still bought it… but I probably wouldn’t be so elated.

So into the trunk it went, where the seats were still down from the fact that I had dropped off a dresser less than half an hour ago. A dresser trade. And infinite possibility.

Are you like me? Do you buy things solely on what they could be, rather than what they are?

*yes, Goodwill is open on Sundays! Who knew!

treasures from the portland flea-for-all

door of the portland flea-for-all

While in Portland, I had to make a stop at the Portland Flea for All, a store filled with antique and vintage treasures.

bikes in the interior of the portland flea-for-all

The bottom floor is split into small spaces, each housing an independent vendor of wares both vintage and handmade. One woman in the corner had a large assortment of vintage bowling accessories and ephemera, what a fun thing to collect!

They had some beautiful old bikes, although I wouldn’t trust their mechanical condition. The vendors clearly took their curating seriously, and the prices were fair.

The second and third floors held all sorts of wonderful old furniture. Obviously furniture shopping was not the focus of my trip, but there were some goodies. Complete 4-seat dining sets, gossip benches, dressers, and cabinets – plenty of charming choices for those looking for a “not-Ikea” home.

incredible knit fabric: old londontown

My treasures were on the smaller and lighter side: first this fabric, a yard-and-a-half of knit with the best print, in the best colors. When I showed it to Brad he declared, “Old Londontown!”, so when this shirt is made it will most definitely be called my Old Londontown Shirt. It’s a large print but it will be fun to wear.

little monkey friends fabric

I also couldn’t pass up this pink cotton with jungle friends – the monkey is so happy! The price was good on this one, too: almost 3 yards for $4! Can’t beat that.

Both of these fabrics were from a vendor who had quite the assortment of vintage fabrics, and I’m guessing she was a seamstress as well because she stocked some handmade pillows and small plush.

vintage maine harbor wallpaper

And the Pièce de résistance was this nautical/harbor-themed old wallpaper (click for larger image). The colors are wonderful. The aged paper is dry and slightly brittle, so I have to be careful with it, but I can’t wait to put it to good use. I may simply frame some sections, but it would also be fun to try and use it in a small space somewhere (like the lower half of a bar – I have 2 21×42″ pieces). It will be a nice reminder of my summer spent in New England.

If you’re in Portland (Maine, that is!), I would absolutely recommend stopping by the Flea for All, especially if you’re in the market for furniture, but also if you’re like me and love browsing through old things.

Now I’ve got to clean out my sewing room and start stitching up “Old Londontown”!