The Stuff Thrifting and Yard-Saling Dreams Are Made Of

Okay, finally I have time, amidst the catching up and the canning (tomato-basil jam with sherry vinegar, yum!) to share with you my Lincoln Highway Buy-Way 2012 scores. The leftovers of an illness meant we got a rather late start, but that didn’t stop me from nabbing some wonderful things!

Aside from the vintage cocktail dress and beaded sweater, this cool nautically-themed tray is my favourite find from the day. 

Isn’t it pretty? I imagine it’s an old cocktail tray (yes, I was tempted to whip up some highballs or Sidecars, but it was rather early for that sort of thing when I took the photo). The back is wood, and says it’s “A Columbia Product”; I’ve not been able to learn much more about it thus far. The tray with its pretty chrome trim (that could use a polishing up—something I could have done while the Mac was in the hospital, right?) has a lovely Art Deco flair, and of course the nautical theme works nicely for this granddaughter of a Navy man. Price? Just $7 (it had been marked $20, but that’s one of the benefits toward shopping at the end of the last day).

Then, of course, for the grand, heartbreaking toll of five whole dollars…

Yes, a beautiful, classic, vintage cocktail dress with glass beading all along the neckline…Just five dollars!

Of course, vintage hunters and thrifters know that’s usually the beginning of heartbreak, because nine times out of ten, that incredible score doesn’t fit. We’ve all raced to that Dream Score only to find out it’s entirely wrong.

But this dress fit. It fit perfectly. I’d had, mysteriously enough, the foresight to NOT wear a fluffy skirt for once, and so was able to try this beauty on over my clothes right there at the yard sale of a couple unloading before a major move to another part of the state.

The wife saw me coming, too, with my Betty Grable-style victory rolls and vintage-style attire and shoes—”Heyyyyy, vintage girl! Boy, you are going to LOVE this sale! Look what I have here! Come on, you are going to LOVE this! Come on over, vintage girl!”

Now, I’m rather shy and prefer to sort of float about the edges of an event, observing, before diving in; I’m the same way at yard sales, sort of checking out the perimeter before looking at the “inner circle” goodies. People come up to me pretty frequently to comment on my vintage style, but those quiet conversations are a lot different than someone yelling out to you! Even so…being a little unsettled and nervous was worth it for this steal of a dress, don’t you think? (Also, the gal was so friendly I’m sure she’d have let me nip into the restroom to try it on, but luckily, that wasn’t necessary.)

I will say that usually—in fact, all the time—I refuse to wear black dresses to major events, but for special date nights with Hubby, it’s perfect. And five dollars! It’s the stuff thrifting and yard-saling dreams are MADE of! I’m not one to give you many pictures of myself, but shall have to try and get a decent one (tall order) of myself in this beauty when I don it, as I know this full-length photo of it hanging from the molding surrounding our front door isn’t really that great (or appropriate, but hey, work with what you have, yes?).

Five dollars! I could not hand over my money and dance back to the car quickly enough.

It was at the same Buy-Way moving sale that I scored that gorgeous vintage beaded sweater—something I’ve wanted for a long, long time. I’ve a few modern versions, but they’re not quite the same, are they? This sweater is even lined—and yes, though they can go for rather frightening prices online, I paid just one dollar. I felt rather like a burglar.

We all know what a cardigan sweater looks like, so here are the beautiful details:

(Just click for a closer look.)

A few of the beads are loose, but that’s easy enough to fix. Isn’t it lovely? Again, I was beyond tickled pink.

The same yard sale—definitely a treasure trove—yielded a pretty vintage tortoiseshell, or at least tortoiseshell-like, compact. It’s about six inches long by three or four inches wide, and even came with a uniquely-shaped comb with a specially-molded place for it inside the compact, opposite the mirror. The two other depressions make me think the compact perhaps held a blush brush or two as well, but it’s hard to say. The mirror is spotted, but I’m not half as old as it is and have a few signs of age myself! As it was only fifty cents, I could hardly pass it up. The two Depression glass dessert cups were $7, and came from another sale further west along the Lincoln Highway. They’re perfect for pretty desserts like fresh berries and cream or meringue. That’s probably not their originally intended use, but I can’t help myself. 😉 The three vintage scarves I nabbed for a dollar apiece—about what you’d pay at the thrift—at yet another sale, this one an estate sale in a very handsome old bungalow that is about to be put on the market—but, alas, it’s a bit too far away for Hubby’s daily commute!

Finally, from the same lady who sold me the Deco sailboat tray, I purchased a set of four Salem “North Star” plates for just three bucks. Yet again, I felt like a thief. Should I have fixed one of those scarves around my face like an Old West bandit? Boy, it kinda felt like it!

The plates definitely seen some use, as evidenced by dark spots I simply could not remove despite a spirited scrubbing, but for only three dollars, how could I say no? Franciscan’s “Starburst”, Homer Laughlin’s “Moderne”, and Grant’s “Tempo” are patterns I like even more, but again…work with what you have (or see on the table inside the barn, as the case may be). Actually, it would be fun to have a healthy mix of all of them, don’t you think? What a tabletop party THAT would be!

Regardless, “North Star” is still, clearly, very cool, very 50s, and very atomic—and the heft! These plates are heavy indeed, and have already been seen on the table as serving dishes. Yes, I carefully arranged the food so as to show off the North Star, but I won’t make you look at that. 😉

So, those are my goodies. All in all, it was a day very well spent (though Hubby and I were both surprised that I didn’t come across one vintage sewing pattern—I’ve a radar for those things, but I guess they just weren’t out on Saturday!), and I’m happy with my Buy-Way scores. I also photographed some of the sights along the way, including a rather spectacular small-town church near the western border of Ohio, but *blush* haven’t even loaded those onto the computer yet. I’ll save them for another slow week, perhaps, though you can always check in to my always-busy Flickr stream (where, it must be confessed—to my delight!—that some of my recently-posted Route 66 photos have been gaining some attention).

Hope I’ve not elicited too much envy—but instead, maybe a desire to hit the Buy-Way next year to find your own treasures!

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6 thoughts on “The Stuff Thrifting and Yard-Saling Dreams Are Made Of

  1. Wow Jen, great finds. Is your vintage tray reverse painted on glass? I love the deco crispness of it, very current I’d say. I too would rather just mosey around un-noticied until I find something engaging, but sounds like she had you sized up pretty well. I fancy the beading on your dress. Clothes were such an event at one time. I wish more people made a better effort today, it’s so much fun to dress up. I can totally see a table set with complementary settings, maybe you’ll find more next time. I like things to look like they’ve been collected over time vs matchy-matchy. I sure enjoyed your shopping trip!

    • I’m not sure if it’s reverse painted or not—it may be. Perhaps this afternoon I’ll take it onto the deck for a closer look in the sunshine.

      It is rather remarkable how people dress, even for special or important events. I only wear skirts and dresses, which in and of itself makes me a bit odd even without the vintage hair!

      You are right about matchy-matchy. I do have another set of dishes that’s more curve-oriented with the design (if that makes sense), but I think curvy designs could all work together while more straight-line designs like North Star would play nicely together as well, even if the patterns were unmatching. Glad you enjoyed my shopping trip! It’s always such fun to see what others discover on theirs—sort of vicarious spending. 😉

  2. oooh, I bet that “LBD” looks smashing on you! It’s amazing how they knew how to cut clothing back then, that flatters the figure.

    And I too am a shy, hang in the background kinda gal. I say that’s why I married a man who practically lives on stage!

    • LOL! I used to be a singer, so it’s funny that I’m so shy. lol It’s funny how many of us around here are the reticent type…But then, somebody needs to decorate the walls. 😉

  3. Hello Vintage girl! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing road trip finds with us. I must admit to being exceedingly envious of the vintage nautical tray. It would be perfect for my brother, a sailor who carries on my father’s tradition. He sails the Chicago to Mackinac yacht race every season. It would have been the perfect gift but I am so glad to know it has a treasured place in your home. Oh, and chrome polishing is overrated 😉 You have a great eye and I learn so much from you.

    • Hi Sheryl! Glad you enjoyed the shopping as well. The tray really is something special—the nautical theme is very popular right now, but it’s so classic, isn’t it? I saw a few others online while researching this one, but with red being my favourite colour, I’m glad this is the one I dug up and bargained for. 😉

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