Friday and Saturday Garage Saling Adventures

Kalissa and I started out Friday hoping to hit up a few garage sales.  She needed to stop at the bank and get cash.  Amanda at the bank is so sweet and makes treats on Fridays.  We snagged some great bars!

From there we headed to Calmar.  I had seen an ad in the paper for an estate sale.  It sounded good.  It said things were reasonably priced and offers would be accepted.  In theory that sounded awesome but…it wasn’t.

It was ridiculous.  I actually feel really sorry for the people.  They looked each item up on eBay.  They wrote the eBay price on a yellow tag.  Then they wrote what the “offer they would accept”.  It was like a few dollars less than eBay.

For example, they had a set of these vintage primary pyrex refrigerator sets…

On a note next to it is said,
“Listed on eBay at $19.99.  Will accept an offer of $17.”

WHAT??  Around here that is crazy.  Kalissa and I went into the kitchen first.  We looked at the table and the counter and we both smiled.  I asked her if she was ready.  She said yes and we walked out.   We didn’t even look.  On our way out we saw they were trying to sell the microwave…mind you a used microwave for $125.  WHAT??  You can buy a microwave at Walmart for far less.

I feel so sorry for the family.  They didn’t know what they are doing…didn’t know about garage sales or the market.  They went through all of that work and I’m certain, barely sold anything.

We had TERRIBLE luck garage saling.  Everything was expensive.  If I’m going to pay $5 for a kids’ shirt at a garage sale, I’ll happily pay $5 more and just buy the shirt at the store.  Maybe the days of $1 shirts at a garage sale are gone.  I sure hope not.

Kalissa and I went back home.  Here is her haul….


NOTHING.

I think I spent $4.50.  I bought two Hen and Chicks plants at $1 each.  I bought this table runner for $2 and another for $1.50.  That’s it.  What a waste of time.  At least Kalissa and I had fun.


When we got home she helped me load up two treadle sewing machines.  Kramer had them here and had thought to make something with the bottoms.  He’s not here.  I need the space.

I ended up checking out both of the machines.  Both I am sure could be persuaded to work.  The on the left is in good shape.  It’s a Singer red-eye machine.  The one on the right is a Standard.  The cabinet needs repair.


I contacted a lady south of where I live.  I asked her if she might want them.  I gifted them to her.

If any of you who are reading this went to the quilt retreats Kelli and I put together, you might remember Kelli and I bought rolls for breakfast from a local Amish woman.  Her name is Martha.  She’s the one I gifted the machines to.  I wrote her a note a week ago asking if she wanted them and told her I would deliver them.  She called me and told me she’d love it.  She was very happy about getting the machines.  I’m happy I was able to gift them to her.

She is not baking regularly anymore but does take orders.  I ordered some amazing Bacon Egg and Cheese bread.  Our whole family loves it.


I ended up spending the day shopping at the Amish community.  It was so fun as the weather was pretty good and the Amish children were out playing.  It is so sweet.

Out of respect for the families, I don’t take pictures when I am there.  I know you’d all love to see them, but many Amish, not all, do not approve of cameras and I want to respect that.

Being Martha closed her bakery, I was on the hunt for a new one and found one.  I had a peach roll.


They also had some pepperoni bread.  YUM!!  I tore off a piece in the car and ate it.  The bread was still warm.  I ate way more carbs than I should but it was worth it.


I went to Sumner on the way home.  I had bought something (I’ll tell you about it in another post) and had to pick it up.  As I was driving into town I saw a garage sale sign.  I decided to stop on my way back out of town.

It turns out, it was an estate sale.  You remember my last estate sale…I was apprehensive.  Nothing was marked.  Darn.  It’s the worst.  So how much are the people going to want?  AHH!!  I looked around and saw this.  I think it’s a 404.  I told myself to keep walking.


I ended up listening to another lady check out.  She had a bag of stuff and it was $10.  So…I thought I would put together a bag of stuff with the hope that it might be only $10.

What do you think…ten dollars worth?  It all fits in one reusable grocery bag.  I was right on.  It was $10 for it all.  Now, this is my kind of estate sale.

I love cute old coloring books.  I have a collection.  I added this one to it.


I got the bowl.  Many stitchers use these to hold their scissor collection.  Sadly, no scissor collection for me but I do have the bowl should I ever start collecting.

Things at the sale were dirty…but I’d rather have dirt and a decent price.

Check out my little tin pincushion and iron rest.  They will just be decor pieces in my sewing room.

I cleaned the tin…MUCH better.  The little girl on the tin was cut out and decoupaged onto the tin.


The quart jar of buttons was $1.  That was cheap.  There doesn’t seem to be any cool old buttons in the jar but that’s okay.

Does anyone know what this ball is?  It looks like a fancy Christmas ornament.  I found it with the Christmas stuff.  It’s made of heavy-weight metal.  Check out the metal hook.

It opens like this.


I don’t know if it has any real purpose.  I just liked it.


It’s hanging in my living room for now.  I might put some potpourri in it.


These were metal “tacks”.

They were made to put on window screens.  The tack was put on the screen or storm windows so you knew which screen went where.  I have no idea why I bought these.  Sometimes I just love curious things.


I love old Valentines. I had to get these.

This one was so cute!!

I grabbed this wooden bowl.  The finish was gone…but there was something about the bowl that called to me.  Maybe I’d use it like a dough bowl.

See the bad finish??

I took it out to the garage and decided to work some magic on it.

Here is the before picture…


Here is the after picture…


WOW…right??
If you’ve read the blog you know I love Restor-a-Finish.  You can find it HERE on Amazon.

I am TOTALLY in love with this bowl now.  I just knew it had potential.


I’m still not sure where I am going to put it but I do know I’m super happy with it and will definitely work to find a place for it here in the house.

Now that was my kind of estate sale!!

I had such a fun day out and about…still a little sad that I can’t be gardening but…that will happen soon enough.

So…that was my adventures for Friday and Saturday.  Stay tuned to see what Sunday brings.

33 thoughts on “Friday and Saturday Garage Saling Adventures

  1. Elizabeth S

    That ball looks like it should hold potpourri so tight choice you did well at that sale as you said to bad about the other one they should have gone to a few local sales first then they might ave had a better idea of how to sell their items.

    Reply
  2. brendalynne1

    1 how do you resist coloring in those cute coloring books.
    2 amazon will not ship to my california address. I will have to check other markets. I hope it is not that we cannot even pugchase re stor in our state.

    Reply
    1. Deb E

      I suspect the state has included Restore on the list of items we can’t buy in California. There is a LONG list!
      One of the things I really dislike about this state is the idea that politicians make those decisions for us when it is none of their business what we want to purchase. Since other stains are sold in California there is not reason this stain can’t be sold here, too.

      Reply
  3. Christina

    Hi
    have similar metal bauble, we put a battery tea light inside, and the light filters through the holes, so pretty. Love , love your newly refinished bowl, so tempted to turn it over to display, love the grain!
    Wish we were able to find such lovelies here .

    Reply
  4. Lynn Walker

    What a fab haul. The metal ball looks like a pomander, it’s lovely. We don’t really have yard or estate sales in the UK so you can imagine my delight when I was visiting my daughter in Utah and a house down the road was having a yard sale. I bought a bagful of tiny tumbler quilt pieces, haven’t stitched them together yet.

    Reply
  5. Judith Fairchild

    Yes I think your metal ornament was used for potpourri. Iam curious to know how old it is. They were carried to keep a sweet fragrance for your sense of smell in areas where bad odors were strong. The men wore them on chains around their neck.

    Reply
  6. Judith Fairchild

    The metal ball is a pomade. Filled with potpourri to keep the air you were riding through sweet while traveling through areas that smelled awful. They were worn on chains around the neck.

    Reply
  7. Donna

    You had a great weekend even if you didn’t get much. The company was terrific though.
    That bread looks amazing! I’m going to see if I can find a recipe close to that. That will be a great morning meal while we’re traveling.
    Love the bowl – beautiful finish!
    We’ve been to a couple of estate sales but little to no luck. At one, we found cans of chicken breast meat for 50 cents I think that hadn’t expired. We bought them and they were great. Funny the things you find at estate sales! :-D

    Reply
  8. SusanV

    My guess is that the ball might have held moth balls and was hung in a closet, maybe attached to a hanger.

    Reply
  9. Gloria from CC

    Jo – the metal ball is called a birthday ball. A friend of mine and I have been exchanging this ball on our birthdays for almost 30 years. We have the original box and instructions which is how I know what it is used for. We wrap the box and exchange every year. Something small like jewelry. Sometimes I put in a slip of paper telling her what the present is if it’s too big. Nice find.

    Reply
    1. Denise

      Hi Jo,
      Like Gloria, my friend and I have been exchanging our metal ball filled with tiny gifts for many years. Ours came in a box with instructions as well and is called a ‘friendship’ ball. We have great fun finding tiny treasures and often send small handmade goodies.

      Reply
  10. Carla

    I bought a container of Restore on your recommendation and it did work, but more importantly to me is their other product, Howard’s Feed and Wax. I’ve used it on the terribly dry wood of my treadle tables and it’s brilliant! It has also done wonders with my old baskets. Who knows if I would have ever discovered it without your original tip. I’m glad you found a home where the machines will be appreciated, and you had some fun buys. I really like those screen tags. Blessings

    Reply
  11. JACKIE GOOSEN

    Wow! You seriously scored on that 2nd sale! Great finds….I can’t wait until school is out so I can scour the sales this summer!

    Reply
  12. Janelle

    The metal ornament looks like a Friendship Ball. You place a gift inside and give it to a friend. At some point in the future, she will return it to you with a gift inside. And the cycle repeats indefinitely. Gifts may be given for holidays/birthdays, when one is down, special events, or “just because.” By necessity, the gift must be small to fit in the ball, so frequent exchange would not be expensive. It is a lovely tradition to share with a friend.

    Reply
  13. Patt Weimer

    It’s a string ball. Put ball of string in, put end out a hole, hang. Pull out whats needed. Very high tech.

    Reply
  14. Ellie

    I agree with Gloria and also with Patt . Many years ago moths and other critters were problems when storing clothes and bedding. This sort of ball might be filled with a moth repellant or potpourri hoping to deter the critters. They were also used in stores where purchases were wrapped in paper and tied with string. The ball held a ball of string at the counter and the end came out of one holes so it was ready to tie up the packages. No rolling away for the ball of string! Looks like some great finds!

    Reply
  15. The Joyful Quilter

    I love wooden bowls and I’m so happy that you were able to restore the one you bought!! Overall, it looks like a fun weekend, even WITH that dud of an estate sale starting it off.

    Reply
  16. Suzanne

    Jo, Sentimental Stitches sells a pattern for making milk glass bowls like you purchased into a pin cushion. I haven’t made mine yet, but have the bowls to do two of them – one for me, one for a friend! They are so sweet, with or without a scissor collection! Your garage sale day sounded like so much fun. I can’t wait for things to warm up around here so I will feel like getting out and about more.

    https://sentimentalstitches.myshopify.com/products/mr-shivers-pincushion-and-table-mat-pattern
    https://sentimentalstitches.myshopify.com/products/perfect-posies-pincushion-and-table-mat-pattern

    Reply
  17. MRH

    I see what looks like a sewing/thread box in your haul picture. Funny enough i bought the same box in yellow when at a thrift store on Friday.

    Reply
  18. LaNan

    I believe Your metal ball is a spring holder. I have a similar one and I was trying to sell it when a lady asked me if I was sure and then she told me what it was used for! I think it was my great grandma’s so for sure I wasn’t going to sell it after she told me that!! She was a dressmaker so maybe she wrapped her finished projects and tied them up to give it to her customer??? Family history is fun to find!

    Reply
  19. Wendy

    Love the metal ball. If it has a hole in the bottom it might be used to hold a ball of string. It’s pretty and makes you happy! Thats what matters. Use it however you like!

    Reply
  20. Cindy F

    I love your finds! I’m in search of that milk glass candy dish. I know I can get it on eBay but I’m hoping to find one in the wild someday. That metal ball is pretty! You mentioned it was heavy which had me wondering if it were made of lead. If none of the children will handle it then there’s no issue but just in case there are lead test kits in hardware stores or on Amazon.

    Reply
  21. Kathryn Martin

    Jo- the embroidered pillowcases (yellow and red flowers) were one of the first few items I ever worked on when learning to embroider as a kid! I think I might have done the dresser scarf, too. My Grandma usually always bought the sets. Probably from Herrshners or Ben Franklin. By the time I completed the project, I was not at all afraid of French knots!
    I don’t know if I still have those items or not. But you took me down memory lane today!
    I love your $10 haul – the ball is so interesting; it already looks great where you hung it, but we all know you have many places to consider giving it a home.

    Reply
  22. liz

    I have a couple ornaments which are to give small gifts. Or, in my family to hide a clue to try to find the gift.

    If you want to use it with potpourri, then, check to see if a wool laundry ball will fit in the case. You can use essential oils on the wool ball and you won’t have any dusty debris from the standard potpourri mixes. Easier to change out the balls with seasonal scents!

    Great find on the wooden bowl…

    Reply
  23. Nicole Hanson

    Hi Jo!
    Love reading your blogs and love ;your antiquing, garage and estate sale adventures. You do find cool “stuff”! Love your valentines. I love them and the Victorian ones! I use Howard products all the time. I nuke the Feed and Wax. Just to warm it so it spreads easier. Let it set and then hand buff! Works great and brightening up (feeding) the wood.
    Pray that you are doing well. Take care. Love to you and yours!

    Reply
  24. Susie Q

    And I grew up in a house with screens and storms that were number with tacks just like those. Well, they had paint on them. Had to be washed when put up or put away….. just did what I was told.

    Reply
  25. Barbara McCoy

    Hi Jo!, Love your blog! The ball is called a Friendship Ball and is used to send little gifts to a friend and then the ball gets passed on. I had one and my friend and I passed it back and forth for years, sometime during Christmas or birthdays but other times it would arrive out of the blue with a little “thinking of you” gift inside. So special. Amazon has these and it will include a card explaining the tradition and a delightful little poem about the treasure of friendships. “A ball is a circle, No beginning, no end, It keeps us together, Like our circle of friends. The treasure inside for just you to see, Is the treasure of friendship, You have granted to me.” Written by Alda Ellis.

    Reply
  26. Dianne R

    I have two of those milk glass candy dishes that I bought at a thrift store for .50 each. My plan is to put scissors in the holes and a pin cushion in the middle. I also have 5 or 6 of those plastic thread boxes in gold, cream, pink, green, and brown. I color coordinate my thread by the color of the box. The wooden bowl looks great.

    Reply
  27. Michelle

    We’ve been to estate sales like that — and there are some new companies popping up that seem to be following the same pricing strategies. The most obviously awful example I’ve run into was a separator for spinning honey out of frames. They’d looked up new ones online and priced theirs (which was fifty years old and had some broken pieces) at half of retail.

    Still less crazy than the thrift stores. Goodwill had a yellow dinner plate for $7….which is a lot even BEFORE you realize that it’s originally from the Dollar Tree!

    Reply
  28. Ann Nell

    Hi Jo, Your little white bowl is a reticulated bowl. That term means there are cutouts in the item. I love reticulated plates and bowls and grab them when I find them. I love to thread a ribbon through the holes and tie a pretty bow for special occasions. God bless !

    Reply

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