Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Weekend Finds 1: Eartha's Generosity!

Good morning!

Thanks for all your kind comments on my ma's wedding dress both on the Facebook page and back here on the original post! I will followup with that photo of the woman herself in the same gown some time soon! :) I've got wedding on the brain, but I'm fighting it tooth and nail this week to tell you about all the goodies I snagged in the last weekend or two that have yet to show themselves on the blog. Take a look!

Jamie posted the other day about Eartha Kitsch's awesome, "take anything you want, please, it's free, I need to clean out this garage" event at her house the other day. IT WAS AMAZING. I told her after I got home, I was surprised at all the neat stuff I had in my car when I got back home. I'd been so busy crackin' up with the assembled parties (Rae and Travis were there, too, and Mr. Kitsch of course, who added funny origin stories about some of the stuff we were taking off their hands), that I'd forgotten about the freaking amazing haul of goods exchanging hands! First of the very neat things I got? Board games:

Confession: I have a sick, Quentin Tarantino like weakness for any seventies' movie or tv tie-in merchandise period, but board games are really high on the list of things I won't pass up. I have board games for everything from Welcome Back Kotter to Dukes of Hazzard to Happy Days, so you can imagine my STUPID amount of glee at showing up first to Eartha's house and seeing not one but TWO amazing board games sitting on the drive way. First, this Planet of the Apes board game.

This is you, running through Earth in 3978 AD in your bearskin clothes, trying to stay alive on the ape planet. I love how the cover blares the stark truth of the game's goal: "OBJECT: BECOME THE LAST SURVIVOR". Yeah, don't help your friends, or try and salvage the space ship to get home, or acclimate to ape human society, JUST SURVIVE. I haven't gone through the game play rules yet, but Eartha forewarned me that if any of the pieces were missing, it was probably her brother in 1978 AD who misplaced them. Possibly, he is also the one who wrote "You are a dummy, dummy" in ballpoint pen on the inside of the lid. I actually laughed out loud when I opened that and read the secret message for the first time.

Hold up...why do I have to build my own ape prison? I have to construct the means of my entrapment? Not cool, Milton Bradley. Not cool.

Isn't the board itself magnificent? This score dulls the pain of the $25 Dr. Zaius bank I didn't buy at the flea market this weekend (I know, I know. I wasn't thinking. Forgive me, Dr. Zaius!). I love the black and white background photos and the colorfulness of the color portions of the board!

OH MY GOD. IT'S THE BIONIC WOMAN BOARD GAME. Obviously perfect for a couples game night in which we could play The Six Million Dollar Man and Charlie's Angels board games from my collection. I have to say the one disappointing thing about a lot of these games is how tedious the actual rules of playing go...for example, the Dukes game is pretty much Sorry with less continuity and more "You got chased by Sherriff Roscoe and ran into a ditch, go back two spaces" cards. Ah well. Look upon Jaime Sommer's illustrated visage!

Heck yes, it features her fictional character's signature. I mean, duh.

Also heck yes, she is trying to net a cougar on the cover of the box. What else would she be doing? Did you guys ever see the episode where she teamed up with Evel Knievel to fight the KGB on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall? THIS WOMAN KNOWS NO LIMITS. Bring it, cougar.

The board is ok, but the the gameplay cards on this one are just fantastic. The one you're seeing reads "ADVENTURE 3: ATTEMPTED PLANE HIJACKING! Jaime foils attempt and saves passengers." Naturally. See the illustration where she has the hijacker in a bionic chokehold? 

Another of the garage hauls? Home wares! You know how I am about coffee tables, and I SERIOUSLY needed a smaller one for the ad hoc trunk-as-coffeetable situation going on in the green room. I almost died when Eartha said this was up for grabs:

Seriously, could it be a better looking piece of furniture? She said the original glass top was broken in a cleaning casualty, but it's extremely lightweight and easy on the eyes in spite of its missing piece. I just love this! The whole room (I took it back into the living room for lighting purposes, but it actually sits in the green room) just looks better with this fancy little atomic piece. I love it!

Also, this lamp? Tiny, plastic, tiki-style perfection:

I haven't quite figured out where to put it, but it lights up a darkened room with a blue glow like an aquarium, and I am all about that.

This wasn't even half the box of stuff I took home-- two pairs of shoes, a blue vase, a porcelain pair of kitties resting under a sunbonnet, a Marshall Dillon Gunsmoke puzzle, a mostly-complete NUDIST CAMP puzzle ("I might have to mail you a boob if I find it," in the immortal words of Ms. Kitsch), two skirts, two pitchers, and some other odds and ends are still sitting in my den ready to be distributed throughout the house. I had so much fun AND got so many neat things to take home. So thank you, Eartha!! :)

Did you have any tv board games as a kid? Been the recipient of someone else's extreme generosity? Make any good scores at the flea market or estate sales lately? Let's talk, folks!

I've got two more posts of "junk I have known" coming this week, so stay tuned! See you tomorrow. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

My Mom's 1982 Wedding Dress

Good morning!

Well, folks, I lived through the madness of an entire weekend of wedding dress shopping, but there's good news! I did manage to find "the one"!!! AAAAH, CUE MASSIVE EXCITEMENT OVER HAVING A DRESS TO WEAR TO MY UPCOMING CEREMONY. I still have to run out to Franklin to pick it up some time this week as it had to be ordered from Ohio, but we've already locked in the promise to buy it when it does make its way south to Williamson County. Commitment! What a wedding's all about, right?

I can't show you photos of the dress because it's still in transit PLUS I am being super superstitious about not letting Matthew see me in my big dress before the big day. Just for fun, though, here's a series of photos of me trying on my mom's wedding dress from year of our Lord 1982. Take a look!

I mentioned to Eartha that my grandma's tv is so big, you can almost picture me getting married to Brian Williams from the nightly news in some of the unedited photos, as he is truly lifesize.

Background to this story: my mom is always right. UGH, HOW IT GRIEVES ME TO ADMIT IT. My ma is honestly, 99.9% of the time, completely correct in most of her advice-giving. She may not know the most politic way to express this rightness, but I find myself, even at this advanced age, to be in constant state of wonder at her mysterious proclamations coming true. Case in point, trying on this dress. The actual act of putting it on was prefaced by weeks, and weeks, AND WEEKS of her going, "Try my dress on TRY MY DRESS ON try my dress on! You'll like it! Really, you should at least try it!". And me trying to politely demur, as I had memories of some of her bridesmaids' blasted out, feathered perms in the eighties' and was extremely leery of  being forced to walk down the aisle in something out of Falcon Crest

No, no, no, NO NO NO NO NO. (to the tune of "Nobody but Me")

The box, it bears noting, has an illustration of a blushing, mid-seventies' era bride in all her wedding finery, and a line of brides WITHOUT FACES lining up behind her as far as the eye can see. Ostensibly, these are her future progeny and her progeny's progeny, and on and on...hopefully, they are not some creatures chasing her out of a Silent Hill like nightmare scene. "Your Wedding Dress, for generations to come!" reads the legend  in calligraphy across the bottom of the illustration, in swooping, copperplate hand. What the...ok, that's seriously awesome, but what is going on with that? I wish I'd thought to take a picture. We ignored this ancient curse and opened the box anyway.

I now know that I want a bouquet that drapes like this, and that I can pull of a maxi-dress with neck-to-wrist coverage!
The dress was really in very good condition and very pretty, with a good deal of lace in the front and a modest train in the back. The empire waist of the top portion BUT JUST fit, and in spite of the three or four inch height difference between my mother and I, I think it's a good length, too! I immediately emailed these photos of dress to my friend Kelsey and my sister Sus and my vintage-comrade-in-arms Eartha Kitsch with the hopes that they would allay my fears that I did, in fact, look like I was guesting on a very special episode of The Facts of Life. But they were supportive! I was particularly into the lace at the top of the dress, the seventies' pouf of the sheer sleeves terminating in tight, snapped wrist-closures (I know I'm wrong for that, but I love it), the sweet little train, and the traditional veil. It really came down to, in the end, if I wanted to have a very seventies' influenced, vintage-style dress, or if I wanted to stick to my guns in the tiny-waist, strapless, big ol' round skirt silhouette that my Kennedy era heart cries out for. 

Luckily, after some starts and stops at David's Bridal, we found a dream of a dress at (OF ALL PLACES) a boutique in the Cool Springs Mall. I want to do a whole post on it some time later this year, but know that it's supremely flattering, a beautiful antique ivory color, silk for days, and makes me look not a little like Deborah Kerr in The King and I (without the sleeves! Dear Lord, what were they thinking with those sleeves?) in the best, childhood dream way possible. SUCCESS. 

One last look at the dress that could have been! I'll have to dig out my folks' wedding pictures some time and show them to you. My mom really was a supremely pretty bride in this same dress. Maybe someday one of her granddaughters will be, too!

I love this goofy little picture! It's secretly making me have a tiny pang I can't wear ALL the wedding dresses!

Did you have any particular inspiration in your head when you chose a wedding gown, all you brides out there? Did you stick to your original image, or did you find yourself falling in love with something completely outside the box? What did your mom's wedding dress look like?

I promise, for you regular readers, to get back to our normal vintage rantings and ramblings tomorrow! I found a few things at the flea market this weekend and some items last week for the house, so it won't be all bride talk all the time, I promise! I'm just so excited about the progress we're making on having this whole thing come together! :)

Have a great Monday, and I'll see you all tomorrow!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Photo Friday: My Wondrously Tall Grandma Edition

Good morning!

Well, you're not going to believe it, but THIS Photo Friday, the subject of our weekly vintage photograph round up is ACTUALLY RELATED TO ME. I know, I know-- take a deep breath, this is unprecedented. Folks, meet my grandmother, Hazel. She's my mom's mom, born in 1924 in Falmouth, Massachussetts.

Isn't she lovely! And a rare bird for the time period, too- while her father, brother, and mother were all average sized, my slim teenage grandma shot up to six feet tall by the time she reached her full height in 1939, owing to a rogue set of super-tall genes in the Hill branch of her family tree. She said it was well nigh impossible to find dresses that were long enough or skirts that didn't seem unfashionably short, so she sewed a lot of her own clothes. Can you imagine! The average height for a man in the 1930's was around 5'8''. Grandma said she heard a lot of "How's the weather up there?" for years and years as a shy teenager in Cape Cod. Even though it was hard being that same height in 1996, when I joined the "weather up there" club, I'm sure it was much more difficult in the homogeneous forties' to be a super-tall young woman. After all, aren't all the songs about "five foot two, eyes of blue" sweethearts?

Here she is on a bicycle I would still love to own. Flipping through the photo album this picture was scanned from, in the front room of her house when I was in middle school, she would tell me all about singing Frank Sinatra, bobby soxer love songs out the window to the moon, love sick for a neighborhood boy who lived down the street. She dated a boy named Jimmy whose father owned the bus station in town, and worked at the office counter there after school and during the summer selling bus tickets and reading the newspaper when the shift was slow. My granddaddy  a Tennessee native with craggily handsome, black Irish good looks, was stationed at nearby Camp Edwards. He used to come down to the bus station to throw peanuts at said newspaper while my grandma read it, making like he wasn't sure what she was talking about as she angrily snatched the paper down from her pretty face. If you knew my granddaddy, this is easily identifiable as classic Lucien O'Brien behavior-- slightly puckish, devilish, endearing.

LOOK HOW TALL. WHAT DID I TELL YOU. What always interested me about the peanuts story was the ensuing clash of accents that must have happened when dialogue was initiated between the two future sweethearts. Besides that interlude in the service, my granddaddy was born in 1919 on one street in Inglewood, then moved one street over, built a house, and lived there the rest of his life. His accent was about as Southern and thick with local vernacular as you could imagine. My grandma, born in Massachusetts, didn't have much of a notable accent when I was growing up because she had been in Tennessee almost fifty years, compared to her eighteen years as a Yankee. However! When we went to visit my grandma's relations in Massachussetts around 1998, I was stunned to hear her cousin Avis, who grew up with her practically as a sister, had the "pahk the cah in the yawd" New England accent I'd heretofore only heard on tv. Can you imagine the two of them talking to each other in 1942? I don't know how they even would have understood what the other was saying? Maybe this contributed to the burgeoning romance, who knows. At any rate, they married, and had three six four and taller sons and my 5'9'' mom. I was doomed to this height in the genetics race.

Here's my grandma and her first born, Harold. She says she was 135 lbs when she married my granddaddy, and I'll believe it! 

And one last photo, this one on the beach with Harold when my grandparents went back to Falmouth to visit her dad and stepmother. Another interesting thing about a lot of these "Up North" photos are the kinds of buildings. Lots of clapboard and shingles and things that don't look anything like Tennessee. I truly can't imagine picking up and moving almost 1,200 miles away, but you have to go where your life takes you, I guess. And how else would you get little old me born in sunny Tennessee some forty years later? Second to the peanuts conversation, the idea of traveling that distance by car in the forties' is kind of unreal to me. No interstates! Nothing but radio! A car that probably couldn't go much above 55! Bless their hearts.

So! What do you think of my real life, actual relatives making a debut appearance on the blog? Do you have any geographically farflung relatives or stories of great migration in your family tree? Have any super tall relatives whose height either caught up with you or skipped a generation? Do any of your family members have accents that are just wonderfully strange to think about? Let's talk!

Well, that's all for this week! I wish you luck at the sales (I'm off to the flea market bright and early tomorrow!), and keep a good thought for me and the wedding dress hunt this afternoon! Will report back on Monday. Til then!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wedding Dress Shopping!

Good morning!

I was going to possibly do a post about early 1960's carpets today (don't freak out, there's always next week for retro carpet discussion) but my heart wasn't in it. I'm too much in throes of weddin' plannin'! With 149 days to go, we've pretty much only marked off "save the dates" (I used the same basic color picture we talked about earlier this year, they looked great!) and venue, and honestly, I feel like I should be about 1,000,000 times more on top of this than I am right now. I wake up feeling like a panel from a Cathy comic strip, and folks, THIS IS NO WAY TO LIVE A LIFE.

They make it look so easy in the magazines!!
I had a dream last night that I was sending out wedding invitations, and then realized at the last minute everyone was already assembled at the hotel where we were having the wedding. I walked down a long corridor of tables set with food platters on the way to the room where the ceremony was being held, just agog at all the food. "My parents sprang for so much food!" I thought to my dream self. There was kiwi sushi, which I have no intention of serving to guests at my upcoming nuptials, but that's how vivid the dream was. I usually save that level of detail for the ones where reliving some seventies' slasher movie, but here I was, tromping past guests in my street clothes, trying to find my mother, to tell her the really bad, really REALLY terribly awfully bad news-- I had no dress! NO DRESS. I'd thought I had another couple of weeks to get everything together, and here I was on my big day in NO DRESS. "You look fine!" my mom said when I finally located her. "You could just walk down the aisle in what you're wearing!" I woke up in a state of extreme agitation, needless to say.

My mom and I have been to Bridal Warehouse and David's Bridal, but have little to report in the way of "the one". I didn't get a chance to try on all the dresses I saw online that I liked, so we're hitting the Cool Springs branch and possibly the Murfreesboro branch tomorrow. I thought I would show you some of the gowns that may very well prevent the tragedy hinted at in my dream!

I tried on the first three of these, and this was the first of those three. While it's figure flattering, and has the flared skirt/tea length/tiny waist requirements to suit the vague idea of the dress I want, my mom and I were both underwhelmed by its plainness. Maybe with a colored petticoat, or a great veil, though, this could be something a little more eye-catching? You'd be surprised at how few bridal gowns nowadays, compared to the hundreds of full -length-with-train, are tea length! I knew I should have been shopping off the rack in 1958 rather than 2013, imagine how much better my odds would be!

This was by far the most flattering dress, as that shirred top makes anyone look slightly leaner and yet somehow ever so slightly more pneumatic than regular. Length, perfect. Fit, perfect. But! The organza overlay, which looks white as teeth on the model, is actually two or three shades of ivory darker than the white-white of the underskirt! I would say that the flower and the pattern on the organza are almost a cafe au lait type color. What the what! Which makes this dress plummet in the mom-and-me ratings race from major contender to I-don't-want-to-look-like-I'm-not-the-bride-at-my-own-wedding. UGH. 

This Oleg Cassini (OLD HOLLYWOOD! The man who started the line married Gene Tierney and almost married Grace Kelly. You had me at the name!) number was my favorite of the ones I tried on in terms of design and "wow" factor, but the Rivergate store only had it in a 10 (I'm an 8) and when something is a size too big in the bust and the waist, in a dress that is fitted to the bust and the waist, it's altogether impossible for me to tell what it would look like in my actual size. The sales associate kept pulling the excess material back so I could "see what it would look like in an 8", but this bid at closing the deal was unsuccessful. Next closest dress? Bowling Green or Knoxville. BOOOOOO. Still, if I don't have any luck on Friday, it's a distinct possibility I'm driving to Kentucky on Saturday.

They didn't have this at the Rivergate store, period, and what a shame! That lace overlay at the bateau neckline! The cap sleeves! SO. FIFTIES'. This is the one I liked the best online. Hopefully, I'll get a crack at it on Friday. I think this would fit pretty much every in-my-head ideal, but you never know until you try it on.

 5) The Wild Card

I know I sound like I've been kind of dead set on the tea length thing, but I love how Spanish-lace-and-late-sixties'-early-seventies' this dress looks. I love that this modeling photo is the most ridiculous (biking with hydrangeas in one of the most expensive dresses, if not THE most expensive dress, I will ever wear!), I love the cut of this dress.

So! What do you think? Those are the ones I'm gunning for on my next trip, and a couple more. There's also a hidden possibility of a vintage dress I now have, but I'll tell you about it another time. Try to see past the weird styling in these photos and imagine this super tall, beehived, immaculately made-up gal in the self same dresses-- which do you think would be the most flattering? Any tips on finding brick-and-mortar locations to try on wedding dresses? I couldn't believe Dillards or Macys are both without bridal departments-- what is the world coming to! Do you have any terrible or wonderful stories about finding clothes for your own or someone's else's wedding? Let's talk! Make me feel better, for goodness's sake! :)

That's all for today, back to regularly schedule vintage ramblings tomorrow. Til then!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

JFK Thrift Score

Good morning!

Well, they've gone and done the unthinkable...they've renovated my beloved Rivergate Goodwill. It's been like that for a couple months now but I think I've still been too much in shock to report back to you guys about my grief process. I know that in any other context, putting a fresh face on an old favorite would be a positive change. Better dressing rooms! Thousands of extra square feet! More room for dresses! But those of you who know thrift stores are also aware that when a business you frequent for "junk" or oldies changes, it is 'ere so rarely for the better. I have been coming up empty for the last three or four runs, and this never happens at the Rivergate Goodwill. There's always a plate or a sash or a handbag or a knickknack I just couldn't possibly live without, and yet lately, I've been slinking out of the double doors of said establishment with the most hangdog face. Cue the Ray Charles music. It's just sad!

The other day, I'd just about given up on the trip, when I saw a white plastic frame peeking out from behind some framed prints of geese in bonnets and downtown Milwaukee. Never lose faith! It was THIS:

Oh, just a mint condition, framed photo of John F. Kennedy. I saw a memorial picture almost identical to this hanging in Peggy Olsen's apartment in the third episode of this season of Mad Men. SCORE, SCORE, SCORE!


As I picked it up, I noticed something was hanging off slash mostly taped to the back of the frame. What could it be?

JUST A SECOND PRINT OF A SMILING JFK. No freakin' way, dude! How did this happen?! I very carefully tucked the picture back into the cardboard backing of the frame, and practically skipped up to the cash registers to pay $2.99 for TWO, COUNT 'EM, TWO JFK PRINTS. In perfect condition. How! It seems like as soon as I lose faith in my good fortune at sales or stores, somethings pops up on the shore that restores my picker's confidence. Ugh! Look at his dreamy/creepy blue eyes! Isn't it strange how all the Kennedys with those eyes looks vaguely like old Civil War daguerrotypes? What is it about their permanently grave expression?

I think I almost like this second "artist's rendering" of the fallen president better than his official office portrait. Kennedy-ana is something that definitely appeals to me as a vintage shopper. I've been heartbroken more than once at not being able to afford a memorial wall hanging of JFK and Bobby Kennedy (like this one) on the two or three occasions I've seen it for sale in a shop or at the flea market. Dang, I went to look for some online to link you to an example and actually went "These are pretty affordable! I should try and get a few!" before mentally slapping my own wrist and clicking back to this blog window. NO EBAY. I AM NOT ALLOWED TO BE ON EBAY. My Pringle-like addiction to scooping up online goodies must be held at bay.

Here are some plates I have hanging in the kitchen of the Kennedys, the first pair of which were picked up in Louisville. Kentucky, man! That state loves their presidents! I also have Eisenhower and LBJ plates from that same excursion:

This next plate was a neat find because I love how it includes Jackie and the children. See her chic head covering for attending church services on Easter Sunday, 1962.

A little Googling turned up the actual picture the plate was based on! I wonder why they reversed the direction of John F.'s head? Everyone else looks exactly the same as the photograph.


Last but not least, from the pre-renovation Rivergate Goodwill, a plate from the JFK Museum in Dallas, TX comparing the Lincoln assassination with Kennedy's own demise. What? THE SIMILARITIES ARE EERIE. Or completely coincidental. But I love, love, love this stuff, so of course I bought it. Does it eek you out at all that the museum listed at the bottom of the plate is on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, the site where Lee Harvey Oswald was said to have been stationed when he fired upon the presidential motorcade? It's like the National Civil Rights  museum, which is in the Lorraine hotel in Memphis where Dr. King was shot and killed in 1968. I understand the historical significance of those places, but sheesh. I'd much rather have a memorial to those great men in a field somewhere, far from the bad vibrations and negative associations of those formerly innocuous, now sinister buildings. But nobody asked me!

Do you collect any kind of presidential memorabilia? What is it about the Kennedys that particularly appeals (or doesn't) to you? Which of the two portraits from my Goodwill find do you think I should display in a place of pride?

PS: I SOLD THE CHAIR! A nice couple who just moved to East Nashville from Washington state sent me an email yesterday afternoon not even asking to look at it, just wanting to know where and when they could pick it up! I hope that was just the thing to make their new house feel like home.

Have a great Wednesday, and I'll see you folks tomorrow!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Coat of my Dreams! (and a Heartbreak of a Chair)

Good morning!

Well, there's good news and bad news about the things I got at the estate sale I mentioned yesterday!

The Good News:

Could you beeee....the most fabulous coat in the worrrrld....?

As Sus and I were bounding through the house we talked about yesterday, I was all kinds of excited to see a closet full of clothes. Sadly, none of them were really my style-- lots of gemstone studded suede and puffy, oversized windbreakers. But lo, as I rifled through the racks, I came across this...this coat. I don't even know what to say. Full length coyote fur coat? YES, YES, YES?

This wasn't even something I knew I wanted until I saw it. Sus and I looked it all over for a price tag, because any of you estate sale going people know that furs, as outmoded or ragtag a condition as they may be, are ALWAYS in the $50-$100 range. Sometimes more! There  was a handwritten sign that said "Dresses- $5, Coats- $10"...but certainly not this coat, right? I took the fur up to the checkout desk with little hope that I was going to get it for the stated $10 price, but never say never folks! That's how much it was!

The label inside is from Rich Schwartz, which was an "upscale women's clothing store" in Nashville. I'm guessing this coat is from the eighties', but it could be as late as the early nineties', as I think that business was still around until then. In the pocket, there were two ticket stubs to 1990's The Godfather III (at least the woman that wore it was well dressed for the occasion!). As I was checking out, the woman running the sale, a stylish woman herself, mentioned that she used to model for that clothing store back in the fifties', and what a good deal it was to get a full length fur coat for ten bucks. I agree! LORD, do I agree! I'm sorry it's going to have to wait until winter, but that won't stop me from traipsing about the house in it. Doesn't it look like something one of Keith Richards's girlfriends would have worn, with a big black hat, in the South of France?

The Bad News:

I bought this chair. Why did I buy this chair!

I pulled the trigger on this in the first five minutes of the sale, thinking I had the perfect place to put it. Well, dad-durn it, the place I was thinking of was actually much larger in my head than it is in reality, and this chair has become a gorgeous albatross around my neck. I've listed it on Craigslist, but only had one person interested in it so far (who decided it was too big...dang, dang!). Live in Nashville, need a FABULOUS green brocade raised print flawless sitting chair and have $35 burning a hole in your pocket? LET A GIRL KNOW. I wish I could keep it but I think if I can't find anybody to buy it before next week, I'm just going to have to send it off somewhere. Pack your bags, green chair! You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here! :(

In the meantime, I'm trying to get used to seeing it without feeling crushed all over again that it won't fit into the scheme of the room. Here's me on Saturday of this week, masking my heartache:

Well, enough about me-- what did you guys find at the estate sales this weekend? Have anything truly knock your socks off? Feel heartbroken about anything? Let's talk!

That's all for this morning. See you kids back here tomorrow!

Monday, April 22, 2013


Good morning!

Well, this weekend was a productive one for estate sale-ing. I saw this humdinger listed on Estatesales.net, and while there were a lot of winners in the sale-pool this weekend, this was the only one I found myself crowing to interested co-workers about. "Jamie, you HAVE TO SEE THIS SALE THIS WEEKEND, OH MY GOD," I told one of the women who works in circulation as she came up to switch out the holds carts from behind the nonfiction desk, and she, Evelyn the security guard, and I all gathered around the monitor to take a gander at THIS, people:

It's mid-seventies' Vegas all up in this piece! I was just flabbergasted by the wild-and-out, Elvis-at-Graceland like affinity for crush gold velvet in interior design. I mean, wouldn't you be?! Gold shag carpeting. Gold brocade drapes. This photo is like what the inside of my mind looks like.

So I corralled Sus into going with me, picked her up at 7:10 the next morning, and we drove down to Bellevue....to find out the sale began at 8:00. Rats. One of the listings said 7:30! So we waited thirty minutes in line, as if at an AC/DC concert, to gain entrance to the sale. Most of the other people in line were professional pickers, and Sus and I chatted amiably through the cold and the muckiness of Friday morning until they opened the doors. One guy behind me overheard us talking about Don Rickles guest-hosting The Tonight Show and the clip where Carson comes back and realized Rickles has broken his cigarette box-- tv  MAGIC. The guy in line recommended that we watch comedian Foster Brooks's drunk act on some of the old Dean Martin Roasts (turns out, he's very funny!). We eventually made it to go-time and ran in with the rest of the rabble that morning.

I grabbed these straight from the website, and here are some of the things that I saw:

Oversized, extremely old steamer trunk. I've gotten jealous about these things and thought about getting one ever since another of my coworkers, Doug, mentioned that his ex-wife Patty has an old turn of the century steamer trunk covered in ten's, twenties', and thirties' era destination stamps from all over Europe and the United States. Why, you may ask? What glamorous jet-setter might have once packed her best duds in such a trunk? Oh, just RUTH ETTING. She lived in the same hotel they did in California for awhile in the mid to late seventies' and Doug and his wife became friends of hers. WHY. WHY WAS I BORN IN THE EIGHTIES'. This trunk didn't belong to America's Sweetheart of Song, but it's a real pip of a case nonetheless!

A chair among chairs! This buddy had raised gold and green, tapestry-like print all over the upholstery, and is wider in the seat and taller in the back than it has any right to be. All the furniture in the house is completely CUCKOO, in case you wondering, and this is a pretty prime example.

Another piece that tugs at my heartstrings even now? This 1864 square piano:

Ugh! SO. GORGEOUS. Square pianos are my favorite shape that they come in, and don't you know that is a crying shame because the height of their popularity was about 150 years ago. Meaning...you're not going to find one of these just sitting on the street corner, friends! This was priced at $2,000, but it makes me want to take a loan and get it nonetheless. Look at the legs, for goodness sake!!

I would have bought this bullfighter and senorita painting set in a heartbeat, but they were $75 apiece. They're real oil paintings, not the flat cardboard print kind you used to be able to get at department stores!

You should have seen Sus and I leaping through the house looking for these, and our sincere, sadsack little faces as we realized they were beyond out means. Still! What glamour! What drama! They looked even better in real life!

Another crazy painting. There was not a blank wall in the entire house-- if it wasn't covered in flocked wallpaper, it was hung with pictures and commemorative dishes and knick-knacks. I'm just now seeing that horseshoe under the peacock on the left! Dang. I have peacocks like these painted in white and pink hanging in the pink tile bathroom at my house. That sofa you can see peeking out from the edge of the photo frame was $50, btw. WHY CAN'T I BUY ALL THE SOFAS.

These lamps were sold by the time I got to them (I know I don't need one, but I was impressed at its sale-ability in the first five minutes of the doors being open!), there was another just like this one to complete the pair. Look at the gorgeous base and matching shade!

Kitsch little wall plaques. Does anyone know what these are called? I'm a sucker for the raised plastic style pictures like this. And I love that it's not a set so much as it's just two of the same one.

The bedroom had this K-I-L-L-E-R suite of furniture, all French Provincial-as-done-by-Liberace. See the curio cabinet in the corner? The purple rose bedspread? The gold brocade half-curtains? IF I COULD ONLY HAVE HALF THE CURTAINS IN THIS HOUSE.

We saw not one but TWO chaise longues, in different rooms, but obviously the same models in different colors. Such a wealth of crazy furniture! Neither one looked so dusty in real life, I think the pictures make them look a little shabbier than they were in person. Check out the shag carpeting in either photo.

There were also some for-real antiques mixed in with the kitsch classics. Here's a baby bed that one of the women in line kept talking about before we got into the sale-- it's always weird when you see that another collector in line has a TOTALLY different set of priorities for the sale than you do. It's almost kind of a relief-- "Yay! She doesn't care about the Liberace stuff! I am so raking up!"

Please note the red shag carpet in pristine condition, and the yellow flocked wallpaper. TO DIE. FOR.

So! There's all the news that's fit to print about that Bellevue sale. Sus and I did get some stuff, but I'll have to post about it tomorrow! Some of the things we got are even picture here! ((dramatic music cue))

What do you think we got from this sale? Which items would you have lined up for if you had the chance? Did you hit any completely crazy sales this weekend? Let's talk!

That's all for today, I'll see you kids back here tomorrow. Til then!


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