Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's a good month for auctions...

I had the good fortune to be able to attend another estate auction yesterday. I had glanced at the email from the auctioneer, and didn't really see anything that made me yearn to attend, but so often the real treasures are the hidden ones. I always wonder how people decide what to include when they turn an estate over for auction, sometimes I think there's literally nothing held back. It turned out to be that sort of sale. It wasn't quite everything and the kitchen sink, but they did have the bathroom sink...two of them, in fact.

Two brand new pedestal sinks were the first things I saw when I came through the doors of the auction site. There were like new kitchen appliances, a huge mishmash of furniture items, and dozens of tables of assorted household items, collectibles, jewelry, as well as coins and currency and dozens of curiosities. For me, a curiosity is anything that I can't immediately put a name to. There were eight boxes of household linens, and my hopes were dashed when i couldn't find a single tablecloth, much less a vintage one. I did find a treasure... a whole box of vintage Christmas ornaments, carefully wrapped singly in layers of tissue and newsprint. I was a little disappointed when i unwrapped a few ornaments and found just plain colored glass balls, but then I started seeing vintage Shiny Brites, both flocked and different indents and shapes. Quickly I rewrapped them, placing the plain ones back on top.

Another thing that always catches my eye is wicker. Of course, the fact that this wicker was painted peach made it even more, uh... eye-catching. Not in a good way, either. There was a desk and matching stool, two book cases and a huge basket. The pieces were all in great condition, making me flag them in the "potential" column in my mental list, despite their fruit-hued cover. I saw a couple of really nice sets of TV trays that looked interesting, too.

There were a few pieces of pottery that made my mental short list: some Roseville, a few primitive pieces of yellowware, and a very old set of nested bowls. There was one piece of Fiesta: a Post86 covered casserole. Everything else would just depend on how the prices ran during the sale. Sometimes, nearly everything is expensive. Sometimes the auctioneer practically has to give it away.

So... what did I come home with? All the peach wicker, for a very very good price. Even if I factor in how much paint it's going to take to cover up the peach, it was a good price. I also bought a nice La-Z-boy recliner ($20) and a food dehydrator ($1) for my mom, a 1930's roast pan and accessories in like new condition ($5), and a truly delicious bowl of banana pudding from the food vendor.

Oh, and my ornaments? Did I win the real treasure of the day? No, I did not. They disappeared before they could come up for auction. I guess someone else realized what a treasure they were, and did the five fingered mambo out the door with them. It nearly ruined my day, until I saw how pleased my mom was with her treasures. Best of all, there's going to be a whopper of a sale NEXT week. I can't wait.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Auctions and yard sales and thrifts, ohmy

Who would ever have thought that bringing a few colored plates into the house would have started the avalanche that my collecting has become? Once upon a time, I thought the ideal vacation was spent lazing by a pool, or listening to the surf... That's still fun, but it's not always easy to take a trip to the beach. So, I take little mini vacations. For me, it's just as relaxing to spend a couple of hours rummaging through an antique mall or sitting at an old estate auction. The people-watching alone is worth the trip. It's enormous fun, seeing who buys what. The prices some objects command is intriguing. Sometimes, there's even a treasure or two or three that catch my eye to add some excitement to the day.

Sometimes my buys are sentimental. I bought eight Jefferson Cups with the original papers because they reminded me of my godmother, Marjorie. She's been gone several years now, but I can still remember being a tiny little girl and having her special breakfast drink, made from orange juice, bananas, and crushed ice. I think the adults had a slightly different version, but she was making smoothies before there WERE smoothies. She always served them in Jefferson cups, and I can still see those frosty pewter cups full of frosty cold breakfast smoothies.

I'm not actually all that convinced that I like having all the stuff I have. It's more fun finding a deal... Like, last week I went to an estate sale and came home with my SUV stuffed to the top.. I bought a table, a bunch of old glass (some Fostoria, some Heisey, and a pile of Imperial Cape Cod.), as well as a couple of boxes of Christmas ornaments. Who buys Christmas ornaments in February? I do, when there are old Shiny Brites in the box!

Sometimes I luck into Fiesta or a box of old tablecloths... If I'm REALLY lucky, no one else is interested. It doesn't happen often, but just enough to keep me hopeful... Can't ask for more fun than that. Here's a bit of my Cape Cod from last week's sale.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2011 Colors of Love...

I'm delighted to be a part of the inaugural Coast to Coast linky party with my dish and tablescape friends, affectionately known as the Dish Divas, and occasionally known as Dish or Tablescape Fairies, as a result of enabling or encouraging other friends by sending tablescaping treats.

Divas participating in today's event:
Candy @ The Little Round Table, our delightful hostess
Daphne @ Tabletop Time
Becky@ Random Musings of a Deco Lady

We're all excited about seeing your tables join ours at Coast to Coast! I hope you'll join the fun! There are no real rules, other than to link back to The Little Round Table! We'll also be joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Welcome to Southwestern Virginia where the color of love appears to be... green?? I love red, and pink and white, the more traditional colors for Valentines Day as much as anyone else, but the weather here has been so cold that I'm longing for something different. By February, I'm almost always wishing for spring and hints of new life. Inspiration for my tablescape hit when I found this tablecloth and matching napkins at my friend Penny's antique shop (The Curiosity Shop, in Christiansburg, Virginia).

The Wilendur tablecloth is called Lilac Time and can be found in several colorways, including a gorgeous Valentine red, but I loved the quiet elegance of the parchment background. The lilac, in Victorian times represented the first emotion of love, or youthful innocence depending on the color of the flower, so it seemed even more perfect for a Valentine's table.

I used a mix of vintage and contemporary Fiesta to set my table. The glassware was a yard sale find, and my flatware was a gift from the flatware fairy. My wine bucket is a base to a contemporary Fiesta canister.

As I finished taking pictures for this post, I happened to glance at my new china cabinet where the sun was teasing my dishes... They're really all the colors of love, aren't they?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Looking back...

I can blame some of my best (or worst) traits on genetics. I'm descended from a long line of pack rats... This lovely little girl is Miss Georgia Eileen Pepper (yes, she's related to the original Dr. Pepper) She also happens to be my great great grandmother. I am blessed to have some bits and pieces that belonged to her, including the little bracelet on her wrist, which my grandmother gave me when i was five or six years old. I have proof that my love of collecting goes back to her, and to her sister, too. They collected post cards and correspondence, and kept photos as well as fabric trimmings, silk ribbon flowers, and kept the family bible up to date. They were as interested in their ancestry as I am in mine. I suppose I could probably update and use their application for the Daughters of the American Revolution as a springboard for sending in one of my own, but I think maybe Miss Georgia and Miss Alma were likely a bit more organized than I am.

Here's another photo of the girls with their mother, from the 1890's and another family picture. I wish I knew where the last one was taken.

There's something comforting about being able to touch my past...and I like the idea of safekeeping those treasured items, adding my own to the group and passing them all along someday to some other little packrat.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Red...the color of the day. Glanced through a photo album and cherry picked a just a few favorite images with red. It's everywhere in my house, especially the kitchen. Dishes, tablecloths, flatware, glassware. Hope you enjoy...