While I haven't unearthed any New Look Dior dresses for a dollar (ridiculous pipe dream, I know, but a gal can always hope!) or found too much in the way of vintage fashions so far, I have had a fair bit of luck with finding sundry other old school items, all of which (I feel) I got for a total song.
In fact, I've had so many good finds throughout May and June that I debated splitting this post into separate ones based on categories of items, but as I have a lot of posts that I want to get up over the next couple of weeks, I opted to go with one heavily image filled post instead.
While I'm not always feeling well enough to hit the local yard sale scene each weekend, we (by which I mean my two awesome partners in crime, Tony and my mom) have been able to get out a few times, and have found some terrific pieces - not only vintage ones, but household items that we’ve each been in need of (from an extension ladder that would usually sell for at least $300, that we got for $10, for my step-dad, to a huge, timelessly lovely ivory hued serving platter that I was sorely lacking for holiday meals that cost just me a mere $3.00).
For the purpose of this post however, I wanted to focus on some of my favourite vintage and vintage appropriate (as in the shoes) items, and so below, grouped in a general sort of "like with like" fashion, allow me to share some of the delightful items I've been swapping my hard earned pocket change for over the past two months.
The Modern Household Encyclopaedia ~ $0.50: While I’m somewhat selective in the types of vintage books I collect (generally speaking, I like to them to have to do with cooking, fashion, beauty, home decor, etiquette, or household management), I do always keep my eyes peeled for all manner of old school reads, no matter the topic, and will buy anything that speaks to my heart – and jives with my wallet. This particular title is a good sized tome from the 1940s stuffed full of handy household management tips on everything from removing crayon stains to pest control.
The American Woman’s Cook Book ~ $0.50: As I strongly suspected at the time, I already own a copy of this classic 1950s cookbook, however, for fifty cents, I was willing to take the gamble, on the off chance I didn’t have it. As I don’t need two copies (and don’t believe in taking apart vintage books that are still in good condition to use for craft projects), I’ll likely hold onto this copy to include in a giveaway or pass along as a gift.
Various vintage recipe booklets ~ $0.25 each: I adore vintage recipe booklets and have amassed a fairly good collection of them over the years, but there are always tons more out that that I don’t have – including all four of these ones from the 50s and early 60s, each of which I purchased for just a quarter.
Various vintage recipe booklets ~ $0.50 each: Not quite as an inexpensive as the four little cookbooks above, but still a good deal in my opinion. I especially like the 1950s peanut recipe book, it has a lot of yummy ideas in that I’m eager to try out (and perhaps post some of my faves here, too).
Jet Blend Liquefier Recipes & Food for the Body, for the Soul ~ $0.10 each: Picked up for a mere dime a piece, both of these books are in fairly good shape for their age and I especially love that the liquefier (blender) recipe collection was issued by a company I’d never heard of before that was located in the neighbouring city of Kelowna (vintage pieces with a locale connection are something I adore collecting and always keep an eye out for).
~ Below are six vintage sheet music books that I picked up for $1.00 for the whole lot. Much as I wish I could, I don’t play a musical instrument, so these 1910s – 1930s books were bought more to use as a jumping off point for vintage playlists or just to display and enjoy around the house. ~
(Someone cut a very specific sized piece out of the cover of this one at some point – I wonder what they needed it for?)
1953 biscuit tin from Queen Elizabeth’s coronation ~ $3.00: I’ve always fancied myself to be something of an anglophile, and like so many lately, have been totally swept up with the Diamond Jubilee festivities, so it was with great interest – and surprise – that I spotted this tin, during the very week that all the celebrations were being shown on TV no less, at a yard sale earlier this month. The seller, a lovely older lady named Betty, was asking $5.00, which I felt was too high, so by bundling the tin with some other items, I was able to drive its price down to $3.00. I’m thrilled that I did, because I now have my first piece – vintage or modern – of royal memorabilia.
Vintage glass medicine/pharmacy bottles ~ $1.00 and $2.50 (smaller bottle): During our first day of garage saling of the season, at two separate spots (a church sale and flea market, respectively) I found these charming clear glass vintage pharmacy bottles. I’ve always had a soft spot for vintage medical items (my very first vintage purchase, when I was barely nine years old was a 1930s first aid kit complete with all its original supplies), so when I saw these two bottles, I knew I was destined to start a collection that morning.
Cute pink and blue vintage lamb plant holder ~ $0.25: Like many of us, I love adorable, kitschy mid-century household items, yet actually don’t own too many pieces, so I was thrilled to find this super cute little lamb holder at an indoor flea market that’s held annually at the local curling club. The hole in its back isn’t very large, but you could get a tiny plant or some craft supplies in there if you wanted to. For now, I’m just displaying it as is.
Milk glass bud vases and milk glass planter/large vase ~ $0.25 each: I’ve always been a big fan of milk glass, but prior to finding these four pieces at the same flea market that the cute lamb above came from, I only had one little bud vase. Now I’ve got enough for a little grouping on a shelf or to pepper around the house in various spots – yay!
Vintage souvenir from Holland pink Dutch girl figure ~ $1.00: I fell head-over-heels in love with this darling little Dutch girl in her precious pink dress, blue hat, and classic clogs the moment I saw her. She needs a gentle cleaning, but is still in terrific shape – complete with her original tag. I’m not an expert on such souvenir figurine by any means, but would peg her to be from the 1950s, based on the overall design and fonts (and aging) on the tag.
Adorable mother and baby puppy dog vintage coin bank ~ $1.00: Not just preciously cute, but also very practical (and something I was in need of to help me save up money for future yard sale outings!), this sweet coin bank is in really good condition over all (I’m pretty much certain the two dogs would have had a metal chain linking them at one point, as in usually the style with such pieces, but other than that everything in tact) and brings a smile to my face every time I look at it.
Framed print of a Georgian era painting of two children ~ $6.00: Though this pieces is not vintage (let alone 18th century!), having always been a major fan of the Georgian era, it beckoned to me instantly and as I was able to knock the price down from $10 to $6, I was thrilled to bring this timelessly beautiful piece of art (and its lovely frame) home to hang on our walls. (The name of the painting isn’t listed on the back, does anyone happen to recognize it?)
Rose embroidered vintage tablecloth ~ $3.00: I’ve been looking to find a beautiful vintage tablecloth for some time now, but hadn’t stumble upon one that really caught my eye until, at the same garage sale that I got the vintage Coronation tin at, I found this stunning rose embroidered number. It’s smaller than the size of my dining room table, but that’s ok, because I’ll just place it over top of another similarly hued cloth when I use it to ensure the whole table is covered.
Lot of 1940s, 50s, and 60s handkerchiefs ~ $3.00 (for all): From the very same seller as the rose tablecloth and Coronation cookie tin came a plastic bag full of lovely little vintage handkerchiefs. Prior to buying these handkerchiefs, I only had about four in my collection, so it was such a boon to suddenly add about 25 more in one fell swoop. All but a couple are in great shape and a few are so pristine, that I wonder if they’ve ever been used. I’ll definitely be using some myself, both for their intended purpose and as pocket squares, hair accessories, and (with the very largest) tiny neck scarves.
Two red Pyrex fridge storage dishes/bowls ~ $1.00 for both: I was doing a happy dance in my head when I spotted these two vintage fridge storage dishes, as I’ve been hoping to find some Pyrex all garage sale season long (I’ve owned vintage Pyrex before, but at present didn’t have any at all before these cherry red bowls came along). Though they’re missing the glass lids they would have originally come with, I love them all the same and may put them to use in my craft room to house buttons or other small supplies.
Mid-century atomic novelty print serving platter ~ $2.00: Ever since we moved to Penticton we have been entertaining more often (thanks to living around family and friends again), we’ve been throwing dinner parties and barbeques, which means that it really helps to have plenty of good sized serving dishes, bowls and platters on hand. This delightful blue, yellow and green atomic print platter – that I’d peg to be from the late 50s or early 60s – is big enough to use for a small dinner party, but at the same not so large that I can’t whip it out any ol’ night of the week when it’s just me and Tony. Gotta love that!
Set of Kromex pink/copper coloured spice jars ~ $5.00 (for all eight): Found at the same garage sale as the atomic print platter and cute doggy coin bank above (and the three brooches later on in this post), this set of Kromex spice jars is one of my favourite finds of the year so far. I’ve always adored 1950s Kromex pieces and was elated to score all eight of these spice jars at the same time. Though the original spice rack/holder in missing, that didn’t deter me from nabbing them up in a heartbeat! Now I just need to find some of the matching vintage copper Kromex pieces – like the cookie jar and canister set – at other yard sales to go with them.
Deluxe Dial-O-Match 1950s food slicer (mandoline) ~ $5.00: It was the box, in such pristine shape for something that’s 55 years old that I almost wondered if it was a modern piece with retro style packaging at first glance, that instantly drew me to this classic 1950s food slicer. There was a chap who was eyeing it too, so I nabbed it up as quick as I could and was amazed to see that the item inside looked almost as new as the box itself.
Vintage white netting and velvet bow adorned hat ~ $3.00: Found at the same sale as the Edwardian Italian-French dictionary, this timelessly lovely white 1950s hat is the first I’ve found at a yard sale in many years. It’s in absolutely wonderful condition and is the sort of perfectly elegant piece that works with countless outfits (especially during the spring and summer), and which will never loose an ounce of its stylish vintage appeal.
Vintage gold tone brooches ~ $1.50 each: As you may recall from this post on the subject, I’ve recently started to collect and wear vintage brooches in a major way, which means that I view every yard sale and flea market I go to as a potential source of vintage costume jewelry pins. At a sale in May (where a number of other items in this post also came from), I picked all three of these lovely brooches, each of which I was able to buy for just a dollar a piece (a big shout out to my wonderful mom, who found the cute little eyeglasses one before I – or someone else, there were lots of people pawing through the same table of jewelry – spotted it).
1920s or 30s ladies slip or lingerie straps ~ $2.00: In remarkably good shape for being 80 to 90 years old, these beautiful pale pink straps could be used on anything from a handmade nightgown to a store bought bra that was in need of some mending. For the time being though, I’m just displaying them as is in my craft room, as I don’t know if I can bring myself to use them after they survived in tact, on their original card, for so many years.
1920s/30s style brown “x” strap shoes ~ $2.00: As many of you may recall, I have a devil of a time finding shoes that fit, so no matter where I go, I’m always on the prowl for pairs that are vintage appropriate and which actually fit me comfortably. These brown heels have are fairly modern (I’m thinking maybe 1970s), but have a great flapper-int0-Depression era vibe to them that will be perfect should I ever need to put together an outfit based on those years, or simply to ingrate in with some of my day-to-day 40s and 50s pieces.
Brown Naturalizer lace-up shoes ~ $1.00: Another modern pair, but ones that I feel I easily weave into my mid-century causal/sporty/outdoors looks. These classic, sturdy shoes fill a much needed spring and autumn footwear gap in my closet, and will, no doubt, be lived in pretty much all year round.
Brown and beige Leathermaster train case (suitcase) ~ $2.00: At some yard sales, the sellers label every last item with a price, at others just some, and others still, there’s nary a sticker in sight. It was at one of the latter sort that I spied this vintage Leathermaster train case, and couldn’t rush over to ask the seller quick enough how much they wanted. “Make me an offer!” Said the cheerful seller, and so I did, for $2.00, and she accepted on the spot. Thus, I now have my first ever vintage train case, which I love to pieces and plan to use as actual luggage when I travel and as storage around the house the rest of the time.
Lot of vintage and antique photographs ~ $20.00: It might shock some of you to learn this, especially given my unending love of vintage images, but prior to earlier this month, I did not own a single vintage photograph (a few postcards, yes, but even the few old photos of my own relatives that I have are photocopies on paper, not originals).
I almost can’t believe that myself, but it’s the honest to goodness truth.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing these pieces, and would love to know what your favourites are. I've had a blast gathering (and bartering for – I try to bargain with just about every thing I buy at such locations) each of these wonderful little treasures and can't believe the luck that I've had this yard sale season.
Thankfully, unless (goodness forbid) we get the rainiest July and August on record or my health decides to be extra uncooperative, I'll continue to scour and search all summer long and look forward to sharing more vintage garage sale finds with you as the season progresses.
Wishing you all oodles of luck as you tackle the yard sales, flea markets, and estate sales in your own neck of the woods this summer, sweet dears!