Saturday, September 15, 2012

Couldn't Leave Well Enough Alone

Leaving well enough alone is apparently not in my make-up. I suppose this fact should not surprise me, yet I continue to find myself retracing my steps and revisiting treasures I have left behind. I can't seem to get it right the first time.

After forcing myself up and out the door despite a torrential downpour this weekend, I spent only $5 at one garage sale and $2 at another, and headed home. Feeling like a gambler who was ahead, I took my winnings and escaped, heading to my own front door by 8:00 a.m. before I had a chance (or so I thought) to get lost in the morning, the moments and the deals. Feeling pretty good about my restraint, the work to clean everything up began right away, because I like to enjoy this stuff without the ick factor to haunt me.

At those sales, a mini treasure was to be found inside the first item I bought. For $2, I purchased a metal file box. It was unusually heavy, but only had some old file folders in it. I looked through each folder when I got home, just in case something might have been left behind, and bingo, there it was, a form, hand written and dated 1954, with another small withholding form stapled to it.

The ledger of payments show net checks paid between $5 and $15 each. I love this stuff because it's a peek into another time. Just the fact that the ledgers were handwritten is cool enough, however, then you see how much money this guy was making. The Christmas bonus was a whopping $5.00! My how times and expectations have changed.

The file box folded out at the front once the top was opened, and the added weight I felt when I picked the box up was due to a hidden compartment under the lid. I had real hopes when I discovered it that there was something in there, and I worked feverishly to get it open using a knife as a key, only to discover it was empty. Too bad!

Then I went on to a moving sale where two green suitcases in decent shape awaited right off - at $1.50 each, my decision to purchase was made for me. One was a small square carry on type and the other was a regular larger one.

The silver box was 50 cents.
Medical scissors along with the
little fold out address cards were $1.00 for all. 
Tin tray: 25 cents 
Plastic box and bag of pins: 75 cents for all - 
including nursing pins and two pins from the "Lions" organization.

I could have had a musical instrument case for $1, but I didn't know where I would put it. Most of the furniture wasn't really on my radar either because the woman wanted more than my usual limits allow. There was a cabinet that I would have loved painted, but she wanted $45, and was willing to go to $20. 

Off I went toward home... and upon my arrival I immediately realized the little cabinet should have come with me. Give it a couple hours and go back, I told myself; maybe she'd come down to $15 by then. So I did go back, and yes, of course, it was gone. I still didn't get the instrument case, even though she brought it to me, thinking I had already paid her for it before and forgotten it. I told her I hadn't paid for it. So why I didn't pay the dollar and bring it home right then, I have no idea. Second chance blown. Go figure! But now I know, of course, that I should have gotten that too. 

Slow learner. 

Ever notice that it can be hard to take in everything when stuff is piled up and lying oddly surrounded by stuff you truly have no interest in. Bottom line, I took another look at a jewelry cabinet I hadn't even considered the first go round, and I saw two intriguing matching lamps that I hadn't even noticed before, probably because they were grungy and I didn't like the shades.

Calling Lynette for her take on the items, she said "yes" to both, and I headed back for them; it was just a few streets away. The woman agreed to sell the lamps for $5 each which was a fantastic deal, as was $25 for the jewelry chest. It wasn't until I went to get the cabinet out of the car later that I discovered side compartments and a lift up tray I hadn't seen when I looked at it in its previous home. I had wondered where all the jewelry would hang. Duh. So there was more to it than I realized when i bought it. Sweet!

It's lying on its side because it's really heavy and Casey had to get to work. She only had time to help me get it inside the front door. My back and I were not up for dragging this through the house, so I got out the handy moving cart I found at a sale a few weeks ago and was able to roll the armoire to the back room where furniture goes so I can pretend it's not in the way

This doesn't need to be refinished; it actually looks like it was never used, but I would much prefer it painted rather than decked out with this cherry finish. We'll see though. I'd rather avoid the work if I can on this one.

While leaving, this little industrial office chair in the garage peeked out, whistled at me and caught my eye...

...and because it swivels and rolls, my eyes lit up. I'm a sucker for the lure of such old junk. The woman there told me I could have it, as well as these two pedestal shelf things we had discussed on a previous visit, all for one dollar. 


So glad I didn't leave well enough alone or I would have missed that deal too.

They told me the name that went with the initials on the luggage, but it was a long Brazilian name I could hardly understand, let alone remember. I should go back and have them write it down so I can put it inside to preserve a bit of the history.

The first time I asked, she wanted $5 each for the little shelves. The original J.C. Penny's tags that said $55.00 a piece were still on the backs of them. I'm feeling pretty good about getting them for 25 cents a piece!

The woman doing the selling was really very kind to me, and new treasures galore found their way into our life and home and hopefully one day our shop, treasures that do not need immense amounts of energy expended to make them over. Now that's a relief, because while other projects from previous finds are coming along, they each still have a ways to go.

On that note, if anyone has (or knows where to find) a round graphic that has the look of American typography; either an ad, a company name, a brand or something with numbers or some such thing, and you don't mind passing that information along, I'd love to hear from you. (I have already checked the Graphics Fairy with no luck.) One of my projects is a round table that needs a curved or round graphic, preferably one that can be broken up into parts so it can be enlarged, and I would like it to be classic American Type (preferably something vintage), not French.

Okay, so as you can see, I can't seem to get it right the first time, but I guess I must have some sort of dogged junk determination on my side because I eventually make it home with treasures in tow.

Did you go out hunting for thrifty finds this weekend? If so, what did you discover that kept YOU from leaving well enough alone?

I'd love to hear your stories!

Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors


  1. Well, no. Not this weekend...yet, the day is young. Was thinking of heading to the flea market. I have $30 in my pocket that is burning a pretty sweet hole!
    Recently, I did get a really sweet vintage bread box. I paid a whopping $3 for it!
    I love it. My favorite shade of green. ( is my favorite shade)...heh heh heh!

    I'm off to find a graphic for you... I love the thrill of that sort of hunt...and I'm especially happy, that you want it to be 'american type' english...not french.
    I created a "flowers" plaque for my bedroom once and did not put 'fleurs' on there for that same reason... I don't speak french! Ha!

    ...if I find something I'll send it along. happy hunting, Pat

  2. ~Liz~
    FOR YOUR TABLE. Not sure exactly what you're looking for... but, just went to google...typed in OLD RECORD LABELS hit the images tab...bunches of items there.
    am also emailing you a link. Found a cool one, but didn't want the filters to spam it...

    ...oh! And... $5 for those beautiful red lamps! I love old glass lamps. I have two amber hobnail and 3 (4 ones boxed up) vintage 50's and 60's swags...a blue one, amber one and red one.
    You stole those, I'm pretty sure.

    ...look for my email. Pat

  3. :) Great finds! I too, have learned the hard way that if it's cool - grab it immediately! Sometimes you have to get it and decide what to do with it later! I still sometimes pass stuff up though because of space constraints!
    Didyou email the graphics fairy? Sometimes she can find what you want if you ask!

  4. Those are all great deal considering the items are great and rare finds! Best buys :)

  5. Liz, you're so awesome at yard-sale-ing! I'm always in awe of your stories. Love that you go back...I wouldn't have ever thought to do that. And what a price for those shelves that were originally over $50!! Kudos! Have a lovely week!!

  6. You racked up again! I only spent $2.50. I'm such a cheapskate! I keep all my change in a zippered pouch in my car, and for the most part stay within whatever is in it. Now if I ever find something really good, I'll dig out more money. I normally buy the small stuff though, as you can see from my posts.

    Hope your week is blessed!

  7. Looks like you got some great stuff. Those suitcases are too cool especially with the initials on the front. I always do that, think I don't need something then can't stop thinking about it asking myself why I didn't just get it. New follower to your blog :)

  8. Love your findings! You scored well! It looks like the jewelry cabinet is big? Are you going to paint it or leave it the way it is? My jewelry is always all over the place...haha I also have kicked myself for not grabbing something when I first love it, only to find it is gone later. I always think my husband will think..."what are you going to do with that?" haha but I don't know why I haven't learned that I don't really care what he thinks. Haha :) and usually he says not a word anyway. :) which is why I love him!!
    Blessings - Sara

  9. I am dying for that train case and suitcase - I am truly in love with them - what a deal! You can rarely find the very small ones - they are probably not American-made. Do you know the maker? The ledger page was a wonderful surprise. My niece Leia and I went on a crawl on Sat. I spent a lot - but got only a few real treasures.

  10. Oh man! I'm pretty jealous of those red lamps! They would be beautiful in my glass towers. I'm trying to gather a new set of globes so I can make a third one next summer. You had a good day!

  11. You definitely came home with some treasures! I love those lamps.

  12. I am going out for thrifty finds tomorrow and headed to downstate Grafton, Il this weekend. I love the way you shop, you know your limits and what you are looking for. Sure there have been many times I could kick myself for not have boughten something, actually more times then not. Love the cases and old vintage chair you found, but then you do seem to "find" the good stuff. The train case is a true "find". I sure wish we live close so we could head out together, it would be such a fun day! You might feel threatened though, cause I'll go higher than $5. Thanks for sharing your inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

  13. I so enjoyed this post. You clearly live in garage sale heaven, and me? Well, let's just say it's pretty hot here in Idaho! lol!

  14. Oh, great finds! I really love the suitcases, and the lamps!!
    Reading the first part of your post made me remember that some months ago I bought an old children's book (Little Men) and then, when I was at home I found an old tram ticket between its pages. Now I have to check its date as tram were used here many years ago.
    Besos! Silvina

  15. Liz, I always get a kick out of your yard sale adventures. You find wonderful treasures each week. I did go to an Antique sale on Thursday. The Star Mill is being sold (which I am sad to see go). They had a yard sale but I didn't find anything fab. Thanks for sharing with SYC.


Thanks for coming by. I hope you'll say hello and let me know your thoughts. I'd love to hear from you! Unfortunately spammers have been at an all time high, so I will no longer be able to accept anonymous comments.