Thursday, May 29, 2008

Let...the season...BEGIN!

I generally refer to the weekend after Memorial Day as "Opening Day". For what, you might ask? Baseball? No. Fishing? No. Garage sales, of course! My friends in warmer climates are probably pitying me right now - as well you should - since you are blessed with garage sales practically year-round, I'm sure. But for Oregonians, we have a very short and focused season. I look forward to it all winter and when it gets here, I have so much fun. The thrill of the hunt...the rush of adrenaline...the eagle eyes as you slowly cruise that a Duncan Fife table? What color could I paint that bench? Would that chair fit in my daughter's room? Can I talk them down from $10 to $5? I never have much cash to spend - but that's the beauty of it. You can get so much for so little at garage sales.

my youngest checking out one of my latest found treasures

The last couple of weekends I've lucked out with a few early garage sales here and there. Weekend before last I was at an estate sale in its last couple of hours. I was wishing I had known about it a day earlier, because even towards the end they had some serious treasures left. I picked up a pair of fabulous - and I mean fabulous - mid-century drapes for $20. Steep for me, but when you see them you'll understand. (That's only if you appreciate mid-century design, I should add.) I'll show you a picture of them later - they're at the drycleaners. (That's where the real investment came in...quiet sob.)

I picked up this child's picture book from 1914, which had part of another picture book inside it, for $9. Again, a bit steep for me, but every single page is perfect for framing. I'm thinking they'd be awesome in a playroom or nursery.

...and this plate for $2. I collect this china pattern. Or rather, I have about six pieces which I got all at the same sale a few years ago. I'm just going to say that means I "collect" it.

Then, this last weekend, I went to a few garage sales in my favorite rich neighborhood - the Irvington/Alameda area, for you Portlanders. (I love garage sales in wealthy neighborhoods, because their junk is most certainly my treasure!) Gorgeous old houses, immaculate yards...I could go on...but instead I'll show you some treasures I found:

...this large basket for $ first I thought I'd paint it, but then realized it sorta goes with my new very pale aqua living/dining rooms...

...this vintage overnight bag, again for $1 (love that!) which I plan to use for storage in my home office (which I am VERY slowly putting to come, one day)...

and last, but not least, this outrageous mirror for $8 (that's all I could get them to go down from $10). I thought I'd paint it white...but...I hate to admit this...but the gold is actually starting to grow on me. There! I said it! Have I been reading too much Elle Decor or something? Seriously, I'm starting to love it's outrageousness as is. But, I may still paint it shabby white. Or red. Ha! Who knows?

All I can say is, three cheers for Opening Day - and Mom, get your van ready!


  1. I was just in Portland May 13-18 and it was mid 90's. I know it was unusual weather for them. I no longer have time to yard sale and need to have a huge one myself. You'd love this I'm an interior designer and will also sell seconds of my frames and artwork. Huge..when it finally happens!
    Great blog, by the way.

  2. Wow! You got some great deals! I love that china pattern and I see it once in a while 'round these parts.

    I'm dying to get to an Estate Sale. Dh an I both have an itch to get to one, actually. I search the papers every weekend but nothing!

  3. You know I love garage sales! Great kid books by the way!

  4. I don't know what it is about our area...either people are hanging onto their treasures or I haven't found the secret to locating them. Yard sales around here have been nothing but frustration for me so far. With the price of gas what it is, it's really difficult to reconcile spending a morning driving around if I don't find anything.

    I love that mirror...and I have NO idea why. :) It's not my usual style at all and, like you, my first impulse would be to paint it...probably black or almost black midnight blue. But something about the style of it just seems to want to stay gold. Isn't gold one of those things that every room could supposedly use a touch of?

  5. Oooo....I hope I do half as good this weekend! So many sales...So little time. We Jersey Girls also have a "very short and focused season." :-)

  6. Ack! I always forget about that neighborhood. Thanks for the reminder. Joelfre and I have been garage saling since April. In the rain. 2 weekends ago, I was kicking myself for not paying $5 for an original painting of a mid-century French village scene. The colors were all very mod. She wouldn't go down to $3 so I reluctantly walked away. I couldn't get it out of my mind so I went back, literally 5 minutes later, and it was GONE! Argh!

    Also, a shout out to my husband: I copy and paste sales from and craigs list and then hubby puts the addresses in Mapquest, figures out the best routes, and numbers the sales accordingly. Hey, I spend money - he's good at organizing. We all have our talents! :-)

  7. Those are some great finds. I love the children's book for framing. And that vintage overnight bag is fantastic! I so clearly remember my grandmother having one just like that. She would bring it whenever she would visit and I thought it was filled with the most wonderful treasures. I can still remember what it smells like after all these years. OK. That's kind of weird.

  8. okay, you guys are really entertaining me today with your comments! I love it! There's too much good stuff here for me to respond in only one comment...but I'm going to try: Paula - you're right - I would love your sale!
    Marie & Diana - thanks!
    Beth - I agree about the's like it wants to stay tacky, outrageous gold! So unlike me to have anything gold, but stil...
    Laura - good luck this weekend!
    Char - bummer about the painting! I know the feeling. And your hubby is excellent - you guys make a great team!
    Kimba - it may be weird - but I remember the exact same thing about my grandma! Same era. Same funky smell. that's too funny!

  9. Okay so since you feel this way, I probably shouldn't tell you about the neighborhood sale in Troutdale... over 200 homes.. it's bliss! Father's Day weekend... let me know if you need the details...

  10. oooh...I'm gooing to pretend I didn't just read that, Megan! ;-)

  11. I did a frame like that... changed the gold to white and then to black with some of the white showing through. The gold is kind of funky on that ornate frame, though...


thank you for commenting, dahling! I can't wait to hear what you have to say. :-)