March 7, 2017

Itchin' to be Pickin'

The combination of mild weather and my latest dive into author Mary Kay Andrews's world has spring fever singing in my veins.  I just finished Savannah Blues, a fun read centered around antiques picker, Eloise "Weezie" Foley.

Weezie is a picker's picker, willing to go to the not-so-nice locales and dig through piles of junk to find treasure.  For humor there's Weezie's loopy relatives and her best friend, Bebe (pronounced Bay-bay).  For culture there are several sightings of some of Savannah's oldest and finest society members...and of course lots and lots of talk of antiques.  There is also, Daniel, the yummy chef at Bebe's restaurant.  Throw in a mystery and it's perfect!

I enjoyed it so much I've already started reading the sequel, Savannah Breeze.  If you enjoy light-hearted, but witty, women's fiction I know you will enjoy these two books.

And now about that spring fever....

Reading about Weezie's antiquing adventures has me itching to get out there on the hunt for myself.  I grew up in a family that appreciated antiques when everyone else in the world wanted new and modern.  While other families went to the mall or bowling or the beach together, my family went to auctions, flea markets, and garage sales.

My grandfather was a picker before there was a name for it.  His philosophy in life was "Never turn down anything anyone wants to give you.  It might be crap, but the next time they're getting rid of something it might be good and they'll think of you."  It was a philosophy that served him well.  Pappy (or Al or Copey as he was known in the picking world) was able to furnish not only his and Nana's home with wonderful antiques, but the rest of us benefited quite a bit, too.  Of course, we all also had the bug and collected for ourselves, as well.

So, to me warm weather means it's the season for country auctions, flea markets, and garage sales.

Want to see some of my finds from recent years?  Not everything valuable. Some is just stuff I like, but I do find some gems.

I bought these earrings for 50 cents at a church rummage sale thinking they'd be good for a vintage 80's costume if I ever needed one.  Turns out they are by designer Heidi Daus, who is big on the Home Shopping channel or QVC.  Value is about $80.

 When I was a kid, my aunt and uncle's neighbor had the world's meanest weenier dog for a pet.  Her name was Gretel and she would just as soon bite you as look at you.  You couldn't even walk near their yard unless they took her in the house.  I think every kid in the neighborhood got bit by her at least once.

A couple of years ago the woman passed away and her children had an estate sale.  I only bought one thing.  This lovely oil painting of Gretel that they'd had commissioned by an artist up in New England (the tag is on the back).  Gretel looks like a sweetheart in it.  LIES!!!!  Anyway, for $5 Gretel now lives at my house and is a major conversation piece with anyone who grew up in the neighborhood.

I got the next three items out of my husband's great aunt's attic.  She and her husband were auction addicts.  None of it is family heirlooms, but nice just the same and the year before she died she was big on giving my daugher and I things that she had.

Beautiful, but not my style.  I gave them to a friend
whose home they fit perfectly.

A nice Fenton milk glass bowl.

I don't know who might have made them...
perhaps another aunt who was very crafty.
I scored a huge pile of them in every color.

I got this afghan at another church sale, held in conjunction with a community-wide sale.  It is large enough to cover a full size bed and it was never used.  I love it.  It reminds me of a stained glass window.  I paid $3.

I do buy clothes once in a while if it's a great deal or something vintage.  This gorgeous NEW sage green suede jacket was $2 and the Laura Ashley top was $1.  I got the hanging jewelry caddies for 75 cents each.

Even though there is little value in them...unless you get really, really favorite picks are books and that's because I love to read.  I read what I buy. Even the really old or odd stuff.  Last year I found this awesome cookbook at the library's used book sale.  It has some very good sounding recipes in it as well as some funny for possum.  Blech!  Anyway, I snagged it off the free table and when I checked on Ebay sellers are asking $35-$40.

And then, of course, there are some items that are just so good that once in a while you give in and pay full price.  Two items that come to mind....

I saw this corner cupboard in a junk shop and it was love at first sight.  I knew I had to have it.  Lucky for me, the shop owner had a layaway plan (I put whatever I wanted down, paid whenever I wanted, and picked it up whenever I wanted. His theory was that he still had the cupboard so he didn't care what I did.)  The cupboard was priced at $1000.  He let me have it for $900 and I put $50 down.  I mailed a couple of payments and then at Christmas my husband picked it up with his bonus.

The other thing I really didn't dicker on was my Daisy girl.  Yep, I plunked down $250 at a garage sale for her on the spot.

And now you know what I do all summer long.


  1. Ahhh - I'll go to every garage sale that has little Daisy girls ;)
    I love the treasurers you can find in garage sales & flea markets. & I always say one mans trash is someone else's treasure.
    I cant believe you got that huge afghan for $5.00 - that is nice. Just tell everyone you made it now ;)

    1. Would you believe she's the SECOND dog I bought at a garage sale? When my son was just 2 we stopped at one and the Sheltie there just fell in love with him and he with it. Long story short, the woman was going back to school, selling her house, and we got a new dog.

      Anybody who knows me knows there is NO way I made that afghan!

  2. My parents and brothers and sisters all love to do this. I'm the only one that never did very much.

    1. My husband's not so big on it...unless it's tools, but both of my kids have the junking bug. :)

  3. My youngest sister loves auctions and yard sales and re-purposing to re-sell. I have to say it does intrigue me and perhaps when I retire.....

    I love the things you showed us! Know you had fun!

    1. I keep thinking about doing it to sell. So far I tend to do it to keep.


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