Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Christmas Eve Yard Sale Santa 2012

Christmas Eve, 2011, and my nine year old grandson meets me at the door looking a bit anxious as he asks “Granny, are we going to do Yard Sale Santa?” “Of course!” I exclaim feeling delighted that this decade old tradition has become an anchor for our Holiday festivities. And so it goes. We gather around the tree after a light meal and before the children’s bedtime, and I get to be “Yard Sale Santa”. It’s the culmination of a years worth of “hunting and gathering” at Thrift Shops and Yard Sales with treasures galore for all (including the other grandparents). My daughter has become fond of the designer purses, and I can usually pull off something Ex-Officio or Mountain Hardware for my son in law. One year my grandson got a vintage Mickey Mouse bowling ball, and I can never go wrong with something from Hollister for my adolescent granddaughter. Some gifts are silly while others are met with the refrain, “I can’t believe you found that at a Yard Sale!” And it feels good to be recycling rather than being stuck in the consumer driven big box store madness that seems to take the joy out of giving. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a traditional Christmas morning gift exchange, but we try to curb the excesses. So, dear “Rosebuds”, I invite you to share in this tradition, and I challenge you to host your own family Yard Sale Santa gathering. The Second Hand Rosies “Yard Sale Santa Rag Shakin’” on Saturday, November 17, 2012 will be the perfect place to start your shopping. Yes, we will have the traditional clothing swap, but we are also encouraging you to bring other “stuff” that can be re-gifted, (art, kitchen tools, books, and oddities).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Have you ever bought a signed piece of artwork and looked up the artist on google? I have one large work that I found out is worth nearly $5000 by googling the artist. Other times you are not so lucky, you find out nothing and figure that this person might have taken a class or completed this work in college and did not want to carry it around with them so they donated it or maybe they gave it to a family member or friend who did not see the value in it……. Well, whatever comes to mind, the positive energy that the original artwork carries is now with you once you decide to buy it. $4 later with a plastic bag wrapped around it, I came home with a woodcut named “Little Girl.” I am drawn to woodcuts because of the use of negative space to create eye catching images. Here is how the story goes….. A few years back, I stumbled upon this wood cut print at our local Goodwill. It caught my eye because 72 was the year I was born and it was hand signed—which I am always drawn to. I liked the image so much that I hung it in our guest bedroom for the past 3 years. Recently, we have had to do some rearranging and I decided to take it down. I also thought I should look up the artist to see if she had continued to develop in her trade. I discovered that she had passed away recently. I wanted to return this piece of art home to her family. The artist was a young woman when she made this and she was obviously very talented. I packaged up “Little Girl” and sent it back to the artist’s widower this week. I suppose that I would hope that a bit of her spirit was still attached to that 40 year old wood cut, a memory of her youth, a girl with wide eyes and an open heart, a student in Alabama—I am not sure what to expect from here, but my hope is that the power grace will follow this package back to her family and give them a moment of comfort in their grief.


Rosie P.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Box

Up at 5am and ready to roll into Boone by 7am to make sure that I’d be one of the first on hand for the opening of the sale behind Proper Restaurant. And why is that first choice? Simple. Proper restaurant is a hip place and the ad promised “cool clothing, records, furniture and jewelry”.

Even with my BEST plans, and an arrival 15 minutes early there we still people scrounging through the offerings while the sellers were setting up. Sigh.

And it WAS my kind of sale. Funky jewelry, hip clothing, and quite a selection of gently used big name sunglasses. In addition, the sale was a Mecca for spotting some favorite people, Pamela, Phoebe, and Lin. Even sweet little Anna was there buying retro brooches.

It is fair to say that I “pawed through” about everything, crawled on the tarps in the parking lot, inspected the purses and found some personal items that the seller left (she got her change back), and enjoyed her boyfriends display of the incense smoking frog decorations.

The seller was ready to deal, and she was giving excellent prices for boxes of “stuff”. My box, at the darling price of $10 consisted of the following:

Big floppy purse

Mikasa “Trellis” dinner plate

Men’s button down linen shirt (peach)

Metallic cord, 45 feet; purple and silver; unopened package

Ralph Lauren, men’s button down linen shirt. Tie dye.

Foster Grant oversized white sunglasses.

Baby’s bib. “Dinner’s on me” says the featured monkey

“Robin K.” dressy T-shirt tank.

Gap men’s button down linen shirt.

Silver and purple Christmas ball earrings

Gold chain (could this be worth something?). Not my style, but will make someone happy.

Amulet. Eagle claw holding clear marble.

Prada tortoise shell sunglasses.

Foster Grant sporty oversized grey mirrored lens sunglasses.

Chunky stone necklace.

Oversized Foster Grant sunglasses. Tan.

I’ll be happy to have the metallic cord during the holidays, my husband can wear one of those linen shirts to an upcoming wedding, and won’t be worrying about not having a pair of sunglasses. Baby Hank will get a new bib, and sadly, the Mikasa plate will be relegated to my under a plant stash (did not notice the chip when it was purchased).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gertrude and Alice

Favorite ad of the week: Huge downsizing sale for Jim and Dot Francis. At the big two-story "haunted house" in Warrensville on Staggs Creek Rd.

This morning found the Rosies meeting at Crystal Gayle's sale (yes, that was her real name. Apparently, her father loved Crystal Gayle the musician and named her in honor of the long haired singer)off of Roby Green Rd. They had excellent yellow fat-lettered hand made signs! This was their first time hosting a sale and they had some nice items. I found a fabulous vintage hand beaded purse for $3 and a few mismatched Mikasa dishes for a .25 a piece.

We decided to go to Kalmia Acres for a trio of sales, but got diverted by a sign near Perkinsville rd. ended up at Mike's Inland Seafood Lot. I picked up a vintage cowboy shirt from a brave woman having a garage sale and caring for her 2 month old infant at the same time. She was there to sell all of her clothes that would no longer fit--bless her heart. Next to her a family was set up on a flat bed trailer. I walked by and noticed a glass pipe on a Crown Royal bag and another one on the bed of the truck. I asked the mother about the blue blownglass pipe and she referred me to her 20 something ish son. He quickly and gladly came right over to me and began his sales pitch. He handed me the pipes and said they were as clean as a whistle holding them up to the sky and he only wanted $20 a piece on them. "At a head shop, they would be at least $50", he assured me. He wanted these out of his possession, I could tell. I told him that I would think about it:)
Off to Kalmia Acres, where we found our own local version of "carmeggedon"--some woman decided to park her minivan in the middle of the road. Come on folks, let's show a tiny bit of consideration for others--please. Needless to say, we pulled the sleeping baby, car seat and all, out of the truck and began walking up the hill to the first of the three neighboring sales. "Moving sale" it said in the front yard. Usually, that is a good sign. Not in this neighborhood I guess. $80 for a used car seat--hmmmmm--I bought mine new for $50. There were no deals to be had here. But I did manage to run into rosebud Wendy and got to introduce her to rosebaby Hank:) Next door, we found more reasonable prices a couple of items.
Off to the 4 college boys moving sale from the craigslist ad. As we passed Miller Industries, I saw the black mannequin and asked my husband to pull over. No luck!Bummer. Thankfully, Rosie W. was behind us and she swept in for the buy. $2 later our Gertrude now has her Alice:) A quick Skateworld stop finds my appliance guy Scott selling his record collection and my husband scores Alice's Restaurant and Big Brother and the Holding Company on vinyl.

Burl Lawrence Road turn on Yasmine --238 said the voice on the cel phone.......waiting waiting waiting--they finally show up to open up a beautiful rental home that has been inhabited by a bunch of college boys---picture it. Exactly. We had chased this sale down and my husband walked out with an App State flag for $10.

All for all, the hunt went well this late July morning. Happy Hunting everyone--we will see you out there! Till next week Rosie P.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Holy Cross

“I “heart” EXPLOSIVES” read the bumper sticker on the black truck that I followed around the twists and turns of mountain roads to get to Holy Cross Church in Valle Crucis, and yes, same truck pulled into the parking lot, which made me wonder about this year’s shoppers. It was the Holy Cross annual sale and I was bemoaning the fact that I would be five minutes late for the 8am opening.


The sale was actually scheduled to start at 9am, and there I was, almost an hour’s drive from home, and an hour early.

Luckily these fine folks had provided an outdoor area with tents jammed full of fifty cent items for the early birds like me. Delightful, and it was off it was to the land of fifty cent treasures. And I must say that there were several “odd” items to be found in fifty cent land like the bedpan decorated with plastic flowers and the naked baby doll with a freakish look on its’ little white face that was attached to a chocolate brown body. Thirty minutes later I rolled my little cart out of this area with the following: Two framed pictures; “Love Birds” signed by artist Harold Crowell, 1983, and a small print that looks like an inkblot signed by artist Hatcher in 1973; a silver plated bud vase from Italy; another pair of reading glasses with a cool beaded clasp; wooden toy truck for a grandson; hand blown glass ornament for the herb garden; and some sturdy rope.

Fifty cent items rock, and all this for less than five dollars, and I’m thinking, “these folks are headed toward a dozen roses from us”.

The next best organizational feature of this sale was that the first thirty shoppers were awarded numbers to be granted early admission. I was number fourteen which allowed me early admission at about 8:55 am. Brilliant idea, and take note other’s who hold large sales.

The house wares section was not as full as usual, and frankly the prices were very high. I hope these items sell, but remember, Saturday is 75% off so it would be worth a journey back to Valle Crucis for the leftovers.

The basement was rocking with stuff a bag of clothing/shoes for $5, and you can bet that I used my expert stuffing skills and came away with a lovely bag of assorted clothing, all rolled tightly to fit into one paper grocery bag: Eddie Bauer silk long johns, Billabong corduroy shorts, The Territory Ahead pants, new, and a Columbia shirt are items found for my husband. Sacred Threads top, Patagonia dress, tie dye skirt, summer top by “pura vida”, two hats, two scarves, and a lovely basic black dress by Wet Seal.

Back upstairs I perused the art section. A framed poster of tomatoes for $80?, nope. And a quick run through the furniture and jewelry sections (overpriced), along with the heat made me call it a day.

I drove away to the sound of bagpipes echoing in the beautiful valley. Even if I had come away empty handed, the experience of being in that sacred valley, with the mist rising over the mountains, crops in the field and the rushing waters of the creeks emptying into the Watauga River was worth the journey. Rosie W.

Cold and Fog

He had four jukeboxes (not for sale) and one old fridge painted like a jukebox (this for sale, and quite a treasure for $25). His name was Ron, and after living in Boone for many years he was selling his home and moving to Florida. Nice, quirky guy who also had a fabulous collection classic vinyl albums.

A dear friend is soon to be gifted some Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, this despite the fact that he’s “un liked” himself from the Secondhand Rosies Facebook page. I don’t hold grudges, and I understand that many of our posts may seem pesky to him.

But, I digress, totally. The point of telling about Ron’s sale begins with the journey to FIND the dang thing.

It was a foggy and cold summer morning, as they say…..with yard sale offerings as dismal as the weather. I drove all over Perkinsville looking for the sale that was listed as a moving sale near the new High School. Round and round I went, up and down several streets, (I’d been warned at a sale on Hwy 421 that others had been searching for this same sale). One more dead end, and a turn around in a driveway with a truck that bore the bumper sticker “I’m happy as a carp in a septic tank”, viola! This mantra was SO fitting.

Now, I’m driving UP and DOWN the streets chanting “I’m happy as a carp in a septic tank”….la la la….

Dead end in the High School parking lot, but I can SEE the appointed street, but can’t get through the HS exit. “I’m happy as a carp in a septic tank”……la la la…faster, faster, and add an expletive to the mix.

Bingo, I finally find the sale, but no signs, banners, balloons, or even a sign of life, but I get out anyway, and go up to the door. Yup, this is it, and I take a tour of the jukebox collection, see photos of Ron’s dogs, and walk away with Frank and Perry.

The poor folks at Mountain Oil parking lot were nearly drenched, but they’d brought plenty of plastic tarps. It was there I scored a charming folk art piece. Hand made stained glass mermaid/angel/goddess??? Funky cool, and one dollar.

The ladies with the best ad I’ve seen all year were next on the list, and they were delighted to learn that Secondhand Rosies had posted their ad on the Facebook page. They danced around and hugged me, and one even called her daughter in Florida to tell her the news. Since they’d started on Friday they were about sold out, but it was worth the stop just to meet these lovely ladies.

I’d been to the Holy Cross sale on opening day, Thursday, but it was early and I thought, “what the heck, it IS 75% off today”, so off I wandered back to beautiful Valle Crucis.
Sure enough, the place was picked over, but I did find a few odds and ends for almost giveaway prices. The best show in town was the camaraderie between the ladies working the basement where the clothing was displayed. After three days of dealing with hoards of people they were punchy, and some of the ladies began to model the leftover clothing; long john’s and frumpy dresses, tacky purses, and garish high heels, and sporting some swift runway moves. Good fun, good cause.

The valley was still shrouded in fog when I left, satisfied enough to call it a day, and yes, feeling as happy as a carp in a septic tank.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Humane Society Rummage in Review

“Tuck in the tag on your shirt”, I’m thinking as I spot someone I know, but she’s twenty people ahead and there is NO way I’ll break line to tidy her up and lose my space because even arriving early left me at least fifty places back in the crowd, so I stay in place and fixate on the hearing aide the guy in front of me wears. It is 7:45 am, still cool enough for a jacket, and I’m in line for the 30th Annual Humane Society Sale in Boone, NC.

The string of people has already snaked around the rear of the building, and this crowd of hunter-gatherers is vibrating with a primal anticipation for the mad dash; watches are checked and gear (carts and bags) are readied to be funneled through the single door entrance. It is then that I overhear conversation from behind; some ladies plotting to “throttle” two women who look to be line breakers. Not good.

Luckily the door opens at just that moment and the well dressed, but clueless, potential line cutting gals are out of the race. Karma, indeed.

A beeline to the linens produces no treasures upon first swoop so I quickly make it outdoors to the furniture section where a wood framed futon is calling my name. Price good too, $35, and I panic in fear that someone else will grab this find before I can locate Rosie P. So I rip off the price tag and tell the cashier that it’s MINE. She says NO, it can’t be mine until I pay for it. Sigh, and a quick holler and wave and I get Rosie P over to look at it, and she, being of sounder mind that morning, makes a few quick observations, like some wear on the wood and a cracked slat, but it’s still in the running. “Let’s unzip the cover and check it out” she offers. Woops! And yuck, and everything else…..the whole dang mattress was stained in blood, and we totally bail from THAT deal.

I stayed in the Armory for an additional ninety minutes picking up a few items that filled my cart: eight white retro restaurant dinner plates, one tablecloth and several items of clothing, with the best being an April Cornell white petticoat. Hunger pangs took over, and after a quick visit with several “Rosebuds” I dashed off to Panera Bread for lunch and called it a day.

Saturday’s revisit to the Humane Sale netted one lonely grey Tee Shirt with “Carpe Diem” tastefully embroidered on the breast pocket, this, for my husband. But the men’s shirt department netted one celebrity sighting. There, sorting through the piles of shirts was our 5th District US Congresswoman, Virginia Foxx. I overheard her remark to someone that she was getting shirts for her workers as she’d done in the past.

Oh, and by the way, that framed picture of George W. Bush was still for sale in the Art section when I left the sale late Saturday morning.