Return of the hat

Posted by Meghan in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 5 Comments

Wow. We haven’t done an update since August. OUCH! Jenny has been taking a break from sales, I have been going very sporadically and we are just a little flakey. Over a month ago we did hit some sales while my friends from Lennox Head, Australia where in town (the same ones who took me to some Australian garage sales a couple years back.

Jenny was the navigator and we tried to find a few good sales for them. About seven or eight sales in we hit one that this woman was having in her garage and part of a shipping container filled with books. As I was looking around I saw a hat that recognized, because I had made it. In 1990 Seattle had a huge snowstorm and my sister and her two children all ended up being stuck in Ballard for 4 days. In that time we crafted for hours just to keep busy. We made jewelry and Christmas stockings, and I also made a couple of hats. One of which was now here.

Hat on mannequin

I asked the woman, “Can you tell me about this hat?”

“Oh, sure. I have had those for years. I purchased them at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Do you know about that festival?” Well, no I don’t know jack shit about that festival, but how do I tell this woman I made that hat. I mean really. WTF?

Jenny leaned over and said “I think that’s Women with a Y.” So, I just said I knew nothing about any “Womyn’s” festival, but I made that hat.

Here is the real kicker. She had the other hat I made too. She purchased both of them in Michigan and brought both of them back to Ballard — 15 blocks away from our old house! She wanted to know how long I made hats for and how long I sold hats for. I HAVE NEVER SOLD A HAT IN MY LIFE.

I had to call my sister right away, since the sale was 10 blocks from our old house. INSANE.

We did hit a few more sales, including this sale that had the most insane table built on a shopping cart – janky.

Mod shopping cart table

I picked up an old movie canister that is really cool.

I honestly don’t remember much else that happened, but we had a nice time and we each bought at few things. Here is a little blog about Brett and Jenny’s trip to the USA, which includes a rare photo of us styling the trunk.

Junk In My Trunk 9-14-13


Posted by Meghan in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 6 Comments

Last week my mom came for her yearly Seattle Garage sale visit, sadly without my aunt in tow this time … with the two of them together the hijinks are at a much higher level. My mom had a plan: “to buy a ton of stuff.” Um, okay.

One of our very first sales wasn’t open at 9:00 and we vowed to try to get back to it, since it looked like it could be good. It was a woman clearing out her whole house (more on her later).

As we drove away from her house, we happened to drive right past a house as they started setting up. Sure the sale doesn’t look that great, but she was selling all of her folks’ glasses and dishware that had been in boxes for years. My mom purchased a huge box of stuff, I found a really nice green and blue vintage Blendo cocktail set.

Sale in the sun

Her daughter was selling snacks and made this pretty great sign.

Thank you for shopping

At one of our next sales we saw this (and one other) vintage doll house.

Doll house and more

Of course my mom needed to inform the ladies running the sale about how my grandfather made me a doll house that I pushed against the heater in our house in 1976 and it almost burnt our whole house down.

Big sale here stop in!

Now, I realize when folks sell an entire box of one color bandanas that they don’t probably know anything about “hanky code”. But that doesn’t make it any less funny to me.


By about 9:30 we already had to do our first unloading of the car! We did hit a ton more sales over the course of the next 4 hours. Including a couple of hipster sales.

Urban yard sale

Arf! Yard sale!

During this time my mom and I had a conversation about her carrying around her money in a banking envelope. This had come up a few years ago and I even purchased a nice wallet for her, which she informed me she is using, but it’s in her car. My worry was that she would leave her envelope of cash at a sale or a store.

Rainbow sale sign

We finally made it back to the sale that we tried to hit early on. She had this cool King Tut mural.

Egyptian decor

I picked up a ton of vintage games for super cheap. The woman was really nice and she was selling everything to move to a warmer climate.


Donkey fun

We both picked up some great stuff at this sale and left for one last stop. Starting out, the stairs were scary.

Wobbly stair railing

The house itself was filled with stuff.

Smile Awhile


Framed pics

Nothing that I really needed, but my mom cleaned up buying all of her cut crystal stemware.

After getting back to my house, my mom realized she had left an envelope with $400 at the sale where we picked up the games. WTF MOM?!?!

We drove back to the sale just talking about how the money would definitely be gone and you know what? The woman had found it and returned all of the cash! Wow! My mom was very lucky.

And here’s one of our two full trunks!

Junk In My Trunk 7-29-13

Boats, chairs, and cigarette cookbooks

Posted by Meghan in Sale Tales | 4 Comments

Yeah, it seems like we haven’t been going to sales and that is only half right. Jenny is on a no-purchasing freeze and I have been out of town or had house guests the last few weeks. I even missed my favorite church sale, since they randomly decided to start it on Thursday this year. I did some thrifting in Boise, Idaho, and I thought it would be great, but it seemed really picked over.

Here are a few things I did see out at sales a couple of weeks ago.

Sale under the flags

An entire boat filled with stuff. This seems like an “only in Seattle” sort of thing …

Boatload of stuff

Pile of lawn chairs.

You pick!

Butterfly rugs.

Butterflu rugs

Pretty bad looking “free stuff” across the street from a sale.

Couch, chair, bins

A sale that was all cookbooks. No, really. Four tarps of just cookbooks.

Book spread

Here is the one item that caught my eye: Benson & Hedges 100′s Presents 100 of the World’s Greatest Recipes by James Beard. Do you think that the foodie folks that tout the James Beard Awards have this in their kitchen?

Benson & Hedges/James Beard cookbook

It was a bust of a day, so no trunk shot.

The estate sale they would have if they were dead

Posted by Meghan in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 7 Comments

Neither Jenny or Karl have been able to hit any sales, and because of that I lose a bit of my steam to blog. I will still go out, but usually nothing will happen that I can make fun of alone. Or I can, but no one is there to bust up laughing.

This weekend I started looking at the listings and it just didn’t look that good. I hit couple of sales on Friday morning before work, one that was super odd, since it was an estate sale filled with kids toys and shabby chic projects that no one completed. Plus, it was dark and cold, because they didn’t have any power on in the house. Classy!

I did see one ad that looked really good on craig’s. The photos looked interesting (and usually they don’t) and the listing sounded great. Plus, they didn’t try to call it an estate sale.

Huge moving sale (or, the estate sale we would have if we were dead). Leaving 2800 square feet and moving to one bedroom! Mid Century house filled with mid century. Furniture – including DWR, West Elm, Vintage “Tank” desk, armoire, etc. Pottery – McCoy, Fiesta, USA, California, Syracuse, Holt Howard, Metro, etc. Linens: Pottery Barn, vintage quilts and table cloths. Household: Crate and Barrel, vintage. Includes china sets, vintage pitchers, old kitchen tools, etc. Tools: both vintage and newer. Garden tools and containers. Vintage planters with plants. Vintage Globes! Anatomy Chart. Midcentury art. Original art. Everything priced to sell. Large free box!

Photo from yard sale ad

It started at 10 AM, so my plan was to hit an 8 AM sale, get some more coffee, hit the bank, and see was going on at this crazy sounding sale.

I ended up getting there so early there wasn’t a single person waiting. They had a little sign-in sheet and I was the only person to put my name on it. Then I headed back to wait in my car instead of stalking their front door alone. At about 10 til 9:00 a woman came out to my car and gestured me inside. Yeah! First one into the sale and no one else around.

The house was amazing and they did have great stuff and I wouldn’t say it was dirt cheap, but it was good enough that it didn’t matter. I loved the two ladies. They told me they wanted to downsize and had purchased a one bedroom condo on one of the islands. If this is what they got rid of they must have had some great stuff that they kept.

I was busy checking stuff out and making a large pile, so the only photo I took was of this folk art baby doggie painting. It’s amazing, right?

Amazing baby/puppy art

When folks started to crowd in, I realized that I’d better pay for my items and get them to the car before someone started to take stuff out of the pile I had. My pile was $65 and then I spent another $10 when I went back through for a second pass.

My trunk shot is so crappy … see what happens when Jenny isn’t here to style it for me?

Junk In My Trunk 6-22-13

So, I did lay everything out on my couch for a photo where you can see it a little better. McCoy, Fiesta, Bauer pottery. 2 quilts, a couple state glasses, 3 50s table cloths, one ladies Pendleton and a few more things.

Junk On My Couch 6-22-13

And I was home by 9:50 AM.

Handful of sales

Posted by Meghan in Sale Tales | Leave a comment

Yard Sale Stop :)

I wasn’t even planning on doing a blog entry, but I did see a few things last weekend, even if overall the sales were a bust (after my finding money in a box last week).

I started out at 8:00 am, since an early sale sounded good across town, but it turned out to be a waste of time. So after I headed back to Ballard I saw signs for a sale that had some really bad dresses.

Fancy dresses

As soon as I turned around I saw this Joan Collins book with a ton of bad romance novels.

Past Imperfect

I guess I understand where she picked up that fashion sense! She didn’t have a copy of that book Lace, but I am willing to bet $50 that she has read it.

She did have a nice gnome collection.

Dwarves and their friends

I hit a few more sales, even picking up a friend for breakfast along the way. I saw both of these pictures and kind of loved them both, but not enough to purchase either one.

Odd holiday portrait

Lady in chair

On our way to breakfast we happened to drive by a sale on Capitol Hill.

Strange sale sign

Turned out one of the folks putting it on was Ima Handful from Rat City Rollergirls. Sadly she was selling stuff since she is moving out of the country. I picked up a few things here, but I didn’t buy this sweater from her friend. Gadzooks!

Funky sweater

And they had the cutest cashier of any sale I have ever seen!

Doggie cashier

Adventures in Candle Land

Posted by Meghan in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 9 Comments

I had hit some sales on Memorial Weekend, which usually feels like a bust and not many sales with folks going out of town and holding BBQ’s. I had meant to do a quicky post, but instead will share this photo.


I did have a pretty wacky Saturday last weekend. It was the Whittier Heights Neighborhood yard sale.

Whittier Heights sale sign

I have done this sale a few times alone and it’s great in the fact that you don’t need a map or your smart phone. There are enough signs that you can just meander around and find sales.

I felt badly that I purchased something here and she didn’t have any change and then I forgot to go back and pick up the item when I did have change – I remembered the next day. Rats.

Screen and table

I hit a few sales, I think I purchased a book and some work clothing, nothing all that exciting.

Paintball package

I didn’t buy these paintings, but I liked them.

Guitar art

I met this dog at another sale. He was carrying around his own leash and acting like he owed the place.

Doggie at sale

Then I hit this sale filled with dolls and sewing stuff.


I was happy to get some really nice 1930s sewing patterns. I also picked some vintage quilting fabric from the 40s.

$4 portrait

I stopped by the Ballard High Glee club sale (or maybe it was the Drama club) and that turned out to be a bust.

School rummage sale

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that most sales run at schools that kids put on are pretty bad. I don’t need your worn out pants from last year … especially if you haven’t grown out of size 2.

Here is where things start to get a bit more wacky. I stopped at a sale that said entire contents, but it wasn’t listed as an estate sale, but it became clear pretty quickly that it was a full on woman that had passed away. She also hadn’t tossed anything away since 1974. It wasn’t hoarding exactly, but the house was very packed.

Indoor sale

I wasn’t really finding anything … until I found around $85 in a box. This has never happened to me before! The two ladies running the sale seemed very flustered when I gave them the money back.

As I was leaving some guy mentioned that I need to check out “Candle Land.” I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds scary …

This is the first thing that I saw: the Cool-Dana.


Yes, it’s the cool you down bandana. I have no idea when this is from, but “Wow … That’s Cool.”

Right next to that was this Sardine puzzle.

Something fishy

And then the joke that never gets old in my house -– the Norwegian joke!

Caution Norwegian Crossing

You don’t have those in your house? Well, this is Ballard, the home to so many folks from Sweden, Scandinavia and Norway.

And then this — the Dog-O-Matic!


Let me just say that I hadn’t even made it into the basement yet! There were old cosmetics, novelty items, kitchen items, tools. Vintage Geritol from 1971! You get the idea. I snagged a 1960s hammock.

I did not snag this amazing cat toy, but I did remember it from the 1970s.

Kitty toys

Here is what some of “Candle Land” looked like.

Cram-packed garage

Bags and boxes

I found a stack of stuff of storage bins that hadn’t been touched with some great vintage clothing. But sadly, when I found the boxes of shoes they all had dry rot.

Crusty shoes

I did purchase this amazing catalog. I see a book report in my future …

Shopping international

I found one room that was filled with boxes, but no light. And it was sketchy. The whole basement was open, but I pulled a few things out and I just couldn’t deal. NO LIGHT = scary in a crazy basement sale.

I didn’t buy a ton of stuff here, but she had so much that was bordering on time capsule material that it was really great.

Junk In My Trunk 6-1-13

The janky adventures of Captain Cat

Posted by Jenny in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 7 Comments

This week’s post definitely suffered from a bit of “wait too long to blog and forget what even happened” syndrome. I just couldn’t get it together to actually write it all up for a while. I suspect this lack of motivation started after realizing this would be our seventh time blogging the annual Phinney neighborhood sale. That means we’ve been going to this sale for way longer than that. Do the people in this neighborhood even have anything left to sell at this point? Well, yes. Though that doesn’t mean it was necessarily good …

Box o' Birkenstocks



$5 Zone

Cats are children, only with fur

Tragic blue painting

Oh, it goes on and on. I am sort of amazed at how many pictures we took of random items that we didn’t want to purchase.

Phones for sale

Snowman trio

Condiment pack

Candle and scissor jars

DVD Bulk Rates


Caution Slow Moving Senior

Elf shoes

At least the price was right for these seeds!

Seeds should always be free

We laughed at the “old Apple technology” section of one sale. One item was labeled “Does not turn on but is still awesome.”

Does Not Turn On

And this label cracked us up. Flapdoodles!


We did find our way to this memorable garage, where there’s a small but pretty great selection of vintage items each year.

Vintage garage

Meghan dug through the clothes and other stuff, ending up with a small pile. Karl and I fanned out to the other sales nearby. One of them was a woman who brings out the same items every year, priced way too high to actually sell. I recognized a few things from previous years. Karl got a few things at another sale, and before we knew it the trunk was looking pretty good. We had to circle back to Meghan’s to switch cars (don’t even ask) so went ahead and took a halfway-through-the-day trunk shot.

Junk In My Trunk #1 5-18-13

On our way to get more cash we saw some very janky-looking spraypainted signs for a sale right on the main drag. As we got closer we discovered the sale was in a “bird control” business.

Garage Sale Here

The woman running the sale said they weren’t going out of business, just closing up their office and clearing stuff out.

Hard Hats

I couldn’t believe no one had snagged this amazingly freaky stuffed bird! Not that I wanted to own it …

Stuffed bird

Heading back over to Phinney, we hit a sale outside of a wacky toy/art shop. They had a pretty amazing bobblehead selection.

Bobblehead table

They also had some panties. Just sitting there, flapping in the breeze.


Just as we were about to leave I spotted this ginormous Rat Fink.

Giant Rat Fink

It’s about two feet tall, and has a coin slot and removable bottom so you can use it as a piggy bank. I sent a photo of my husband to see if he wanted it … and ended up bringing it home.

At another sale I became fascinated by this vintage blowdryer (but restrained myself from purchasing it).

Vintage hairdryer

It was here that Meghan purchased five or six vintage Home Ec textbooks, some of which are pretty amazing. Perhaps you’ll see them in a future Book Report post.

After a few unremarkable sales we came upon this one, where they had a lovely accordion!

Cactus painting and accordion

It was $300. While admiring it, the woman told us a joke. “What do you call a gentleman? A man who knows how to play the accordion, but doesn’t.”

She also had The Mothership, which she described as “an ashtray for your chainsmoking friends who also like Star Trek.”

The Mothership

And on top of all that, she had a talking Pee Wee doll! Well … more like a squeaking Pee Wee doll.

Next stop: a sale where if you were looking for decorative booze bottles, you were in luck.

Bookshelves & bottles

Glen Campbell was looking good.

Glen Campbell bottle

Then Meghan spotted the “adult section.” Books, bottles, nudie mags … they kind of had it all.

The sexy section

We were getting close to winding down when we saw this crazy baby sign. What?!


There was a whole strip of sales we hadn’t hit yet. One of them had a couple of these skulls–labeled “leather mask templates,” whatever that means.

Leather Mask Template

Meghan poked around while Karl and I hung out on the corner, where our attention drifted over to this horrifying pile of free boxes.

Toxic corner

This was someone’s accumulation of all manner of sprays, oils, and cleaning products, ranging from about the ’60s to the ’80s. We dubbed it the “Toxic Corner,” marveling that someone having the nerve to put these out on the street for free instead of taking them to the hazardous waste disposal. Eventually curiosity took over and I started to gingerly poke around in the boxes. And what did I find? Captain Cat!

Captain Cat

Amazing … and probably deadly.

Our second trunk shot is not as bountiful as the first, but not too bad!

Junk In My Trunk #2 5-18-13

Another year, another West Seattle Garage Sale Day

Posted by Meghan in Sale Tales | 7 Comments

Yard sale today

It was time again for the West Seattle Garage Sale Day (WSGSD). Sadly, Jenny couldn’t make it and no one would go with me – okay, I only asked a few people, but still. And with the stuff going on with my car not wanting to start whenever it felt like it, I took the van.

WSGSD is easy to get around, since there are around 280 sales, so you pretty much just drive around and you will find sales.

Sign on car

But after going for many years, this year felt like more baby clothing and kids tricycles. I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I had hit 19 sales before buying a single item.

I did see this amazing pencil.

Giant pencil

Just to give you an idea of size, the owner let me take a photo of her with the pencil. It was $50. Did I really need a $50 pencil? I guess not.

Posing with the pencil

And really, what is that? A huge metal chimney?

Still life with balloons

But they had these amazing paintings.

Two portraits

I also liked these. In fact I collect these, but $50 each is pretty steep for bottle cap people.

Bottle cap figures

I also have like 6 of them, so really I’d rather have the large pencil.

This sale was the one sale that I did really well at.

West Seattle yard sale

Right when I walked into the yard a woman was carting off a huge amount of jadeite dishes. The prices had been great and I found some records and a few vintage clothing items.

Then I spotted another great painting!

Nekkid lady painting

I also loved this book cover, but not really for my age group.

You call this a family?

And I guess I don’t think I need a guide to making yourself better. This version is from 1988, but it looks more 1983.

As I was wandering around I called my husband, sort of belly-aching about my crappy yard sale luck. He made some comment about another area having a sale and maybe I should go do that. So, it started to seem tempting, but I drove around more and started thinking about whether I should leave the 200+ sales for an area that could have nothing. Around 11:30 I decided to do just that and it was a massive bust. Lesson learned!