A Great Day for Saling

IMG_7350It seems to me there might be just two types of people in the world: those who love and understand shopping at garage sales (yard sales, jumble sales, tag sales, etc.), and those who don’t.

I am firmly in the former camp! If you’re in the latter, be assured I’m not trying to convert you—heaven knows I don’t want any more competition for the treasures at these sales!

But I know that non-believers question whether anything of value comes up at garage sales. And I’m here to tell you, “Yes, it does!” Consider this post a way to gain insight to those of us who get up early on the weekends, drive miles out of their way, and dig through piles of dirty junk just in case there’s a treasure to be found.

The photos here show my haul from just one day of garage saling, last Saturday.

IMG_7358To be completely honest, the previous day had been dismal, with no treasure, no thrills. Absolutely soul-suckingly bad.

And taking the honesty further, many of the Saturday sales (we stopped at about 10) were dismal.

But all a person like me needs is one or two great sales (or one or two great finds at a dismal sale) to be re-energized.

The first sale I went to had no junk, just tidy tables of interesting and odd items. At least I think that’s what she had—I was so completely focused on one table, a great big table, of vintage linens that I barely looked at the rest.

This, this, is what keeps a garage saler going. Beautifully kept, clean, old, unusual items, for remarkably reasonable prices.

A perfect tea cloth with Italian embroidery and drawnwork.

IMG_7439 Another tea cloth with a spectacular embroidered design. IMG_7447An antique coverlet, surely made for a hope chest, that is a tour de force of hand stitching and lace crochet work.IMG_7480

A lovely tablecloth, hand embroidered and brought from Scotland 60 years ago (this one might just deserve its own post!)

IMG_7422 And this was just one sale. We also found vintage hand-crocheted afghans, beautiful damask napkins, and unusual china and ceramic pieces, including a little souvenir pitcher from Vermont, showing a maple sugaring scene! You know how I feel about maple sugaring!! And I bought many perennial plants at the rate of three plants for a dollar.

Yes, this was an unusual and rewarding day.

But, you see, dedicated garage salers live for these days, and a day like this will keep us going through many a lean, dry spell. We are optimists. We always believe that, around the next corner, will come the heart-pounding thrill of finding something really special.

So, what will I find tomorrow . . . ? And which camp are you in? Garage sales—yea or nay?

45 thoughts on “A Great Day for Saling

  1. Oh Kerry, kindred spirits!!!! Th list, the hunt, the glimp in the corner of the eye and than recognition…yes, yes it is that one item of ones list!!! Then keeping up the straight face and the question: ‘how much for this one, please?’ Answer: ‘ uhm, 2 dollars???’ And then…The Joy, The Rush, The Energy. Oh, happy blogging, I bore the Walker family to death with my hunting stories. Someday, my friend, we must go saling together!
    I covet that gorgeous plate with the deer…do not tell me you paid only tuppence for it;0) And you must have almost fainted when you saw that Italian embroidery. Well done!!!

    • Wouldn’t it be fun to go together?! But would we fight over the best items? 😉 I agree that one of the best parts is asking the price and hearing the answer, and grinning inside. Once, I found an quilt, probably from the 1930s, pale yellow with the Dresden plate design, in perfect condition. I said “how much?” and the woman said, “Uhm . . .three?” My mind went blank–three what?! She couldn’t mean $300 but I didn’t think she could mean just three dollars either! But she did! Woohoo!

  2. You have a true soul mate in me Kerry. No need to preach ( not that you were), for I am already converted.Up at 5 a.m each Sunday, driving for almost an hour to do exactly what you describe each week. And yes, the treasure which can be found like your maple sugar jug is priceless!
    I have valued what many people overlook or consider worthless for most of my life. My collections of buttons, beads, china, linen, haberdashery, Christmas decorations, clothes, etc, etc, go on and on. But each week, I always manage to find something I have never seen before. It might be a deed box inscribed in almost Dickensian copperplate writing, or a dolls dress from the 50’s or a glass rolling pin.
    It is my passion too and it is wonderful having someone to share it with.
    I MUST work on the sweetbabyvintage page of my blog…..Karen.

    • I am so hoping you WILL get to sweetbabyvintage sometime soon but you’re already so busy! It sounds like you have some treasures you could feature with just a pretty photo (you’re so good at that!) and a few words of description. I bought an old carpenter’s tool chest this past weekend–over 120 years old, with handwrought hardware. I suspect it will appear in my blog before too long!

  3. Oh, I’m with you all the way! And just in case you need to travel to feed your habit, be advised that here in the UK, we have car boot sales, whereas in France, they’re ‘vide-greniers’ – empty your attics. You probably knew that, but I love the quite different terms we all use to describe much the same thing: a bargain hunter’s treasure chest.

    • I knew about car boot sales (I read too many British mysteries!) but hadn’t heard vide-greniers–that’s great! I also love flea markets and, right across, in Quebec, they call them marches aux puces–not sure which country originally put “flea” and “market” together. We’re going to be in Ireland in the fall–I need to investigate the thrifting scene there before I go!

  4. I am not one to do the actual sale hunting but I am often gifted items/treasures from such places so I do appreciate them. What a fabulous amount of ‘treasure’ you found.

  5. Never been a saler, but reading your post makes me want to raise the mainsail and pull into the next “garage sale” port I see to give it a try. And here ’tis … the weekend upon us … aye, how serendipitous.


  6. Wow, those linens are so beautiful! I’m always on the look out for a treasure… whether it’s at a yard/garage sale or a thrift store or an antique mall. I have found some real treasures in all of these, and searching is part of the fun for me. The low prices are the icing on top! One of the thrift stores that I like to go to, unfortunately is an hour and a half from me, so I don’t get to go very often. But I have found there numerous items, including a 1950s china cabinet for $15 which I painted and now have in my kitchen (it looks great!), as well as a buffet, lots of fabric and lace (literally for pennies!), brass lamps, antique table cloths which I used at my son’s rehearsal dinner… I could go on and on.

    • I love hearing about all these finds–you are a great treasure- hunter, obviously! My mother and I bore our friends to tears, when they come visit our houses, by dragging them around and pointing out which pieces of furniture and other decor came from garage sales!

    • Did you ever see the sports show where they talked about “the joy of victory, and the agony of defeat”? (Maybe that was just in the US). It’s how we feel when we go to the sales. Some days are just SO bad but, yes, the occasional thrill brings us back for more!

  7. The vintage linens are awesome. Some of your finds are absolutely amazing. I think that my favorite is the tea towel with the embroidered man and vase.

  8. That’s a great stash! My trawling….or snuffling,as I like to call it…is in charity shops. My friends think I have developed laser vision as I seem to home in when only a corner is visible. Oh the joy when you rescue it from a pile of tat and hold it high with the reverence it deserves!! Be still my beating heart. Enjoy your saling!

    • I think the charity shops in the UK must be quite a lot better than the ones here–I can’t remember any really good finds in one. But I know that you understand the essential thrill and I love the “hold it high with the reverence it deserves” image!

  9. Count me in too! I can hardly ever pass up a yard sale sign and though I walk away empty handed most of the time, the thrill of the hunt keeps me going. All it takes is one great score to keep me going. And just like you, I bore guests with my tales of how I found this or that for just $2 while they either roll their eyes at me or join in my happy dance. I’m amazed at your magnificent haul; the hand embroidery is lovely and I love the little jug.

    • Now, watch–you’ll give in and go to some sales and find NOTHING. And, by the way, I went again this past weekend and found very little. But I’m not daunted!

  10. Oh you made my heart flutter! I love the hunt and the find is icing on the cake! I love seeing your finds, I would covet them too! All of them! To think they had a life before and now get a second time around, or maybe even a third!

    Garage sales are hard around here because they take place during the week and I have that other commitment (work) but I do love me a good flea! I study the web looking for fleas. The excitement, the hunt and the discussion. So much fun!

    I have been dreaming about the multi-state yard sale that takes place in the southern states. Wouldn’t that be fun!?

    So long winded I am, I’m in your camp at 100%!

    • It’s that business of giving something beautiful a new life that gets to me, too. I rarely buy anything new-ish at a sale, only old and well-made. It’s odd that the sales are during the week where you live–I’ve never heard of that. And, yes, flea markets create the same thrill–it’s just that this area I’m in now is too rural to really sustain any. When I lived in Buffalo, there was a huge one we went to all the time–I miss it!

  11. Those large crochet blankets are amazing finds, and so are the beautiful linens that you picked up! I am definitely in th garage sale camp. In the UK we have car boot sales rather than garage sales (literally, everyone drives to a field and sells their stuff out of the back of their car,) and it’s one of my favourite weekend activities! Just last Sunday, I picked up a couple of cute coats for 20p, which is so cheap! We also don’t have thrift shops, but we have charity shops (like a small thrift shop I guess, and all the proceeds to go charity) which I visit weekly! xx

    • We have something similar to car boot sales–they’re called flea markets here. It’s all fun because you never know what you might find! I can tell you’re very good at finding bargains!

  12. Pingback: Jumble Spoiler – 07/14/14 | Unclerave's Wordy Weblog

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