I'm determined to ignore my housework for long enough to complete this post. It drives me bats to live in chaos and clutter, but after years of practice I've learned to put up with it. As the lone neatnik in a family of happy-go-lucky slobs there's only so much I can fight without ending up in a straitjacket--or a jail cell!
I've shut MelmacParadise down for a vacation and will be following suit with MyPalPeppy after this weekend. I'm itching to tackle a number of projects and also do some reorganizing, and that just isn't going to happen as long as I've got the shops open. Plus I'm hauling my granddaughter to swimming lessons twice a week for the next two months, so something had to go--and it's Etsy's turn to sit on the shelf for a bit.
Does that mean I've cut back on junking? Surely you jest. Although I am proud to say I'm being far more discriminating in what I haul home. No more, "That's vintage and it's worth a lot; I better grab it." Now my inner conversation is more along the lines of, "That's vintage, it's worth a lot, but it's not right for my shop," and then passing it by. I think this attitude is my only hope if I want to avoid being featured on a future segment of Hoarding: Buried Alive.
Okay, so what have I brought home recently? Some terrific stuff! At least, it's my idea of terrific.
Last weekend's big kahuna (apart from the wonderful celluloid deer I shared photos of in the last post) was this fabulous find:
This is, I believe, a vintage jadite rolling pin. My eyes about popped when I caught sight of this on a table of miscellaneous household stuff in th hot sun, unnoticed by the dozen other shoppers milling about. I picked it up in fear and trembling, assuming it would be priced a lot higher than I was prepared to pay after already jettisoning most of my cash at other sales. There was no price tag, though. The seller noticed my interest and called out, "Do you know what that is?"
At that point I thought, Oh, foot! She knows about jadite and how collectible it's become. But I played dumb and replied, "It's a rolling pin, isn't it?" And she nodded and proceeded to inform me it was designed to hold ice water to keep the pastry dough from getting tough. No mention of jadite! I began to hope, so played it cool and said, "Hmm! How interesting. How much do you want for it?"
When she shrugged and said, "A dollar," I put on my best poker face and forked out the money.
One dollar! (I just saw one identical to it on Etsy priced at $127!) I suppose mine is possibly a reproduction; I need to do some research to be sure it's authentic. But it seems like the real thing, and the other items being sold were vintage, so I think I found myself a true deal. What a thrill!
There were other deals to be acquired, however, and I want to tell you about those, too.
I bought five of these little plastic-framed lithographed prints for a quarter apiece at one estate sale. They're in mint condition, and I've already sold a few similar pieces so I feel relatively confident they'll be purchased. The beads are a real beatnik/hippie era thing--they were used as funky room dividers back in the day--very tacky and fun. I got a big zip-loc bagful for $1. The Pyrex bowls were a great deal at $4 for the pair. These things are becoming harder and harder to find at anything like an affordable price, especially if the colors and designs are clear and bright as these are. These haven't been dulled by too many trips through the dishwasher, thank goodness. I saw identical bowls for sale on Etsy this morning at prices ranging from $20-$35.
Here are two more of the 25 cent pictures I bought; these are my favorites of the group and I'm keeping these. I believe they are by American artist Cherry Jeffe Huldah, though I haven't had them out of the frames yet to see the artist's signature to check. They're certainly in her style, at any rate.
The celluloid vanity/dresser set is very pretty, though scuffed up a bit. This was another item being baked to death in hot, direct sunlight at a garage sale and, like the jadite rolling pin, these were not priced. A young woman in her twenties was minding the sale, and she suggested I just make her an offer. I always hate that, being a wimpy sort of person who hates to haggle, but I bucked up and offered her $2 and she seemed satisfied. Yippee!
Now for an assortment of paper ephemera. This is the kind of stuff I find very hard to resist.
In front are two rolls of unopened contact paper from about the 1970s or 1960s. They're pre-barcode, and one features Spiderman, and the other is an assortment of super heroes, including the Riddler and Batman, among others I don't recognize. I'm betting these will go quickly in the MelmacParadise shop when I get around to listing them. The roll in back is actual wallpaper, and it's vintage Winnie-the-Pooh. I will probably cut myself off a small length of this for some decoupage project, but the rest I'll put up for sale in MyPalPeppy. I paid $1 apiece for each of these.
Behind the rolls of paper are decks of playing cards (two unopened) with great mid-century designs on them, and two boxes of vintage stationery. Each of these items was priced at 25 cents.
I'm obsessed with beautiful stationery boxes, whether empty or full. I remember using my hard-earned babysitting money to visit the Hallmark shop to choose from the wonderful assortment of stationery they used to offer in the early 1970s. It was such a special indulgence, and as I did a lot of letter writing, a useful one. Texting and email may be easier and quicker, but the joy of pulling out a pristine sheet of beautiful scented paper to write on is a pleasure today's generation will never know.
The box on the right is hardly beautiful, but it is fascinating in a very mid-century dorky way. Here's a close-up:
From the illustration, it's easy to date this to the late 1950s to early 1960s. "Your TV Special Letter Writing Kit" was apparently something purchased from a television advertisement. I love the handy tip at the bottom because it's so totally dopey: "During commercials this box becomes your writing desk.... RIGHT ON YOUR LAP!" Whoa! Who would ever have figured that out?
The box is battered and scribbled on, but I had to have it just for the laugh. It will probably hold my cut-outs from old cards and children's books that I keep on hand for making bookmarks and gift tags.
Okay. Well, time to do something marginally useful. The laundry beckons, and I have thirsty flowers begging for a drink. I'll talk to you again soon.
Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...
Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.
--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse