Monday, August 26, 2013


My camera was packed away and checked in my luggage. I couldn't operate my phone camera as my phone was turned off for flight safety purposes so there are no wonderful pictures of the hero and heroine this post is about. I am hoping that I can paint you a beautiful word picture so that you can see what an enchanting plane ride this was. 

My seat number was 22C. Way in the back of the plane. A few seats away from the restrooms and rear food prep area. Seat "C" meant I was on the aisle. Quite late in the boarding procedure, along came my seatmates. A boy and girl, sister and brother, (traveling alone) girl - 6 and boy - 8 years old, first grade and third grade. Morgan and Jacob. Morgan took the window seat and Jacob sat next to me. He had a cold and used kleenex often, but he didn't sneeze or cough. He didn't talk as much as his sister - I think because he felt "under the weather". But she was a little chatterbox. 

However, when they first appeared in the aisle next to my seat, she was weepy and said she wanted her daddy. I told them that I would be their grandmother for the time we were together on the plane. I later discovered that they had spent 6 weeks with their Dad in the Phoenix area and were now going home to Mama, in the Detroit area. They were longing to see her. My heart was breaking for these two little ones. I am so glad that Papa Dios (as Nelly calls Him) has a special place in His heart for widows and orphans. I believe these two moppets fit that description and are under the shelter of His everlasting wings.

We proceeded to get acquainted. I asked how old they were. Then they asked how old I was. I bent my head down and told them it was a secret and whispered the number to them. Morgan's response was "you look much older than that". Did she think that was a compliment ?????????? They told me about their grandmother. First she was 83, then she was 94. I am doubtful they have any concept of what those numbers mean. 

A LITTLE NOTE: when I was in school, I thought all the teachers were old. Probably because they were a lot older than me. I know I thought if a man was bald, he must be old (even if he was just 29). 29 years old was old, old, old to me. The nuns that taught in my school all wore wimples and veils plus long medieval robes. I though they were all old, old, old. They could have been barely out of their teens because girls entered the convent right out of high school. Their hair was covered (though I always wished I could see it) making it that much more difficult to ascertain age and I probably would have drawn the wrong conclusion anyway. 

Since, I had a secret to share, Morgan wanted to share a secret she had. She bent down over her back pack and took out two white rag dolls (exactly the same). They were small, about 8-9" tall and very primitive looking. A little soiled too. She told me they were very old as she had them since she was born and they were very precious to her. She lost one once and was very sad. Then she said the doorbell rang and when they answered it no one was there, but her dolly was. She said it was an angel who rang the bell and left her dolly on the doorstep.

When we were getting ready for takeoff and the plane began to speed up, I told them that this is the part I like best. I love when we go so fast that we get airborne. Morgan said she liked this part best too because she was getting nearer to heaven where God is. (someone is planting good seeds in these children). I said to her "you can also have Him real close to you, right in your heart". They both shook their heads up and down. (yes, we know that). I then told them that when we separated after this plane trip ended, that we would meet again in heaven one day.

To keep busy, I always bring my crocheting on plane rides. Morgan wanted to know what I was making. I told her it was a pair of fingerless gloves. She was totally mystified. I took the first one out of my knitting bag to show her.  At this point, it was just a crocheted rectangle. I wrapped it around her wrist, letting her fingers peek out the bottom and leaving a space for her thumb to stick out. Then closed up the top part. Then she understood how they would look. She asked me if I would make a pair for her. (this is what I soooo love about this age - total innocence - no self consciousness. I thought I could get the second glove finished on our long ride. But I had no way to sew up the side seam of the glove. Needles and scissors are verboten on aircraft. They were in my checked luggage. I eventually figured a way to crochet the seams together and told her that her Mama would have to cut off all the hanging strings. Across the aisle from me sat a Delta crew member flying back home and she had tiny scissors, which she offered to me to cut the strings. When the gloves were all sewed up, I asked Morgan if she would like a ruffle around the wrist edge of her glove. "What's a ruffle ?" she asked. Fortunately she had one on the little shirt she was wearing.

By now everyone around us knew about our little group because the children were anything but quiet. The crew members responsible for the children's safe flight, were thanking me for taking care of them. They offered me and the children some special meals. Jacob and I demurred but not Morgan. She had a slider plus other goodies that were in the bag.   

Jacob had his little hand held computer game and played silently a lot of the time but Morgan was getting bored. She did, however think of lots of things to do with her fingerless gloves. She put them on her dollies with the ruffle at the bottom. Now the dolls look like mermaids. To keep her entertained, I gave her a small notebook and pen I had in my purse and asked her to draw some things she saw in Phoenix. She drew a saguaro cactus and gave one to the stewardess across the aisle from us and one for me. Then she drew the stewardess a pair of scissors, too. I tried to encourage them to play tic tac toe and they played one game which was a "shut out". Then boredom quickly set in again.   

I consider this the best plane trip I ever and will think about and pray for those two little kidlets often.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Part 2 of The Estate Sale Saga

You may want to have a look at last week's post to see "episode 1" ~ estate sale-ing. 

A couple weekends ago, I went to one of those estate sales that are "memorable". These are the ones that stay stuck in my memory because of the sheer enormity of "goodies" found in the rooms of this home which someone has vacated. I discovered that the person who owned this home was an antiques dealer who did all the big shows - Rennniger's in PA and FL and the Brimfield Show in MA.

Sometimes the homes are vacated because the past owner has moved to a smaller abode, or into an assisted living situation, or perhaps, has passed away. Usually their heirs will take, as a remembrance, some of the treasures left behind. They, then, make arrangements to stage an estate sale by choosing a local company to manage their sale. The usual arrangements are: the managing company earns a certain and lesser percentage of the sale and the heirs, the remaining percentage. Oftentimes, whatever is left over at the end of the sale is donated to an organization like the Salvation Army or Goodwill but other times it goes to a second-hand store.

As I have mentioned before, there are some that have made a deep impression on my memory. This one was one of them. I was not even aware of the sale until day 2, at which point everything purchased was given a 30% discount. This sale was scheduled for a Thursday, Friday and Saturday (which is pretty common). When I found my way over there on Friday, there were still cars and trucks clogging the street, the house was still filled with shoppers and overflowing with "goodies". Trucks, because much of the case goods furniture is purchased by antique shops which descend upon a sale like this one with large moving van trucks to transport chests, bureaus, mirrors, tables, chairs, etc. to their shops. This is a good thing for me, because they create space in the house so I can actually see the things I want to upend without having lots of large furniture blocking my view.

The house was a ranch style - so just one story plus basement (which is where I discovered the wringer washer in last week's post). When I arrive at a sale, I usually head directly to wherever I think the linens might be. Sometimes I have to ask where they are. Usually, I find them in a bedroom or linen closet. Not so in this house. I entered through the living room. Next were all the bedrooms - no linens. Then the kitchen and dining area. Still no linens. Passing through the kitchen, I see the basement stairs (which I'll descend later) and a sun room next to it (and behind the garage), one step down from the kitchen. In the sunroom is where all the linens were. And, oh!, what a treasure trove.♥♥♥

I found lots and lots of hand crocheted doilies, pillowcases with hand crocheted trim, new Irish linen hankies with tatted and crocheted edgings. And several of the most unusual and beautiful bed sheets I've ever seen. The sheets are the finest cotton but the crowning glory of these sheets are the top hems. All manner of skilled needlework embellishing the hems. 

I have already laundered them and dried them outdoors on the clothesline. I will attempt to sell them as is. They are in pristine condition. 

One item, which I thought was a sheet but is a tablecloth (so you can imagine how big it is) does have some damage which I discovered when I laundered it. It had some rust spots which I treated successfully but I did notice a teeny tiny hole in it. I don't know if this is a result of my laundering or if I bought it like that. Therefore, this piece will be used to refashion into something else. This piece of linen has a gorgeous, deep crocheted edge all around the four sides. It has other needlework in the middle - cutwork and embroidery, all white on white. 

This is one issue with estate sales - usually the lighting is not the greatest and space is at a premium. It is very difficult to stretch out a sheet or quilt to see what the condition is in a cramped, dark space and with other shoppers breathing down your neck waiting for you to put the item down.  

I did purchase a couple other things besides the linen. A couple antique books, postcards, an antique knitting bag and crocheted collars. All I did for the collars is launder them, then take pictures of them with a strapless top, making a new use for them as neck "jewelry" rather than the demure, little accessory they were, at first, intended to be. 

I'm still reveling in the warm, fuzzy feelings I get from my good fortune of falling upon such a huge bonanza. And to top it all off, I went back again on Saturday and the discount was 50% ♥ 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Estate Sale-ing

One of my favorite things to do is to visit estate or tag sales. I’d rather go to one of these rather than garage sales. Garage sales, in my experience, are hit or miss. You really never know what you might find inside someone’s garage and driveway.  There’s a lot of time spent driving around from one to the next one.
My choice is an estate sale any day. They are advertised in the Sunday paper along with a list of the most special “goodies” they may have to sell. They can also be checked online and even see pictures.

I took this picture at the most recent estate sale I attended. It was a great one, too. These are few and far between but when you come upon one, it feels like you’ve hit the mother lode.

There’s a very strict protocol. On the opening day of the sale, if it is a “good” sale, it will be flooded with antiques dealers from as early at 3-4 am for a 10 am opening. They absolutely NEVER open before the time stated in the ads. The first person to arrive at the house in the wee hours of the morning and park their car directly in front of the house, makes themselves #1 (of temporary numbers). When the next person arrives, #1 gives that person the #2 chit and so on until it is time for the sale manager to appear and give out the “official” numbers. No one dares leave during the time of early arrival until the sale manager appears at the front door. He/she begins handing out the official numbers, honoring the early arrivals numbers. The sales manager always announces in the ads what time they will be giving out the official  #’s. It could be a half hour or more before the sale starts. Once you have your official # in your hand, you can drive away and get a cup of coffee but most certainly be back in time for opening. I find it doesn’t pay to leave because you lose your good parking spot. I bring the newspaper and other busy work to keep entertained until it’s time to go stand on the doorstep and wait for my number to be called.

The manager usually allows into the house a certain number of people which the sales crew feels they can oversee properly. As the first wave begins to leave, others are allowed in while still maintaining that control of how many people are in the house at one time.

The people who go through this rigamarole are VERY serious about estate sale-ing. Usually antiques dealers. This is practically the only place where they can fill their shops at wholesale prices.

I began this addicting activity when I was decorating my first home. I wanted a shabby chic look, vintage furniture, coziness, warmth, eclecticism, uniqueness, charm, etc. I felt that vintage furniture was more well-made than modern. I wanted wood not plastic. I wanted drawers that the bottoms wouldn’t fall out of.
That accomplished, I began collecting things. What has developed to be my signature collectible is vintage linen. It started, innocently enough. I wanted pretty napkins and tablecloths. I thought my napkins should all have handmade lace edges. Pretty soon, they were coming out of my ears. I knew I needed to do something with all these napkins. I started to make angels from them. The avocation just grew and grew from there.  

Items fashioned from re-imagined household linens are the mainstay of my sammysgrammy etsy shop.

Here's a couple items I reimagined from vintage linen that are in my etsy shop...........Wedding purses