Hard to Resist: Country Plaques for Dirty Minds & Mice with Many Heads
I’ve been saving these two priceless pics for a rainy day, so you’re in luck!
It was difficult, but we managed to leave a sale without these two gems. We spotted both at the sale a few weeks ago where we fought for a few moments over a dirty miniature, and also where I saw replicas of Erin’s future children:
I know some would agree with this sentiment, but I’m definitely not one of them. In fact, my back door is always locked. Also, two dollars seems fairly steep.
But this find is definitely even better:
Look, I realize that this is the Mouse King from the Nutcracker (fun fact: Erin didn’t know this), but I don’t remember ever hearing a version of the tale where all the other mice crawl up his outfit. Am I wrong?
Also, which is crazier—the Mouse King or Erin’s expression?
Update from Erin: That Mouse King doesn’t just have mice crawling up his outfit. Look closely, that rodent doll has all those little mice heads attached to his neck! Like he has multiple mice heads on his body. So gross. The original price tag on that atrocity was $40 which is seriously so sad.
As for my expression, who knows.
Anyway, here is a hard to resist treasure that I am adding to the list. It is from one of the barn sales last Friday.
Box of old coconuts. Anyone?
Barn Sales & Bat Poo
On Friday, we decided to go to some sales that were out on the west side of town, rather than out where Erin lives. There were a ton of sales out by her, but they all looked bad, and there were two out in the boonies that looked good. Erin also discovered an ad for a barn sale in the town where I live, so we figured we’d hit that up too. The ad for the barn sale made it sound cute and interesting. I should have known that it was going to be a letdown, considering the fact that the person who listed the sale used quotation marks instead of apostrophes when necessary:
“Picker”s delight Barn Sale!…Cleaning out our barns built in 1877. Antiques, collectibles, shabby chic and oddities. WWI cavalry items; saddle pad, Sam Browne Belt, canteen cover. Old skis and sled. A brass and iron bed. Other items: Victorian walnut platform rocker, spool bed, caned chairs, Childs/doll items; rattan stroller, pine doll bed, wicker doll high chair, child”s rocking chair. Vintage Limoges, Aynsley, china. Vintage linens, clothes, aprons, hot pads, table cloths, dish towels and doilies. Old buttons, sewing items, crochet hooks, knitting needles. Lots of old advertising ephemera; cookbooks, recipes, cards, booklets, instruction manuals, flyers and maps. Several kid”s marble games. Large assortment of jewelry, vintage and newer. Antique Persian copperware. Garden accessories, shabby chic chairs, plant stands. Old bottles, and books. New messenger bags, computer laptop bags, golf shoe bags, insulated lunch bags. Old photos, and postcards early 1900”s. Hanging leaded glass lamp. Set of 4 Mission Oak tavern chairs. Old chalkware Kewpie doll bank. Set of china for 12. Oil lamps. Architectural Antiques; 4” Round spoked window, newel posts, railings, doors, doorknobs, hinges, hooks, faucet handles, mirrors, light fixtures, lots of barn wood, barn stuff, Fisher Price wood toys. 1889 framed Odd Fellow Lodge document. 2 brass chandliers, one large and one smaller. Men”s hats. 1930”s vanity w tall mirror. Porcelain topped table. Vintage wood kitchen cupboard, oak dresser w mirror, Art Deco cupboard, oak washstand. Homemade cookies, brownies, and banana bread, gourmet coffee and lots more treasures. Old expanding drying racks, throw rugs. Old picture frames. Steel wagon wheels, kid”s school desk, roll top desk top, gun rack, carpenter”s tool chests, misc. housewares. Plants. and more..
I was sold when she told me there would be cookies and brownies there. Since it was really close to my house and the other sales were an hour away, we hit the barn sale up first. This is what the outside of the barn looked like—a bunch of antiques and non-antiques all over the lawn:
Right away, Erin said, “I already love this sale.” I did for a second, too, when I saw this adorable racoon:
But a few minutes later we were both in agreement that it sucked. Bottom line is that the ad did not lie. However, it was like they had ONE of each of those items. Which does NOT fit the description of a “picker’s delight”… I was trying to rush Erin out of there, but she kept gazing at the rafters in the barn, saying, “I just really love that wood. Don’t you wish you had a barn?” Uh… ok. Anyway, guess I know what I’ll be getting Erin for her birthday—some rotten wood.
I bought an antique bottle carrier and some other odds and ends and Erin bought some old handout about tornados that she forgot in my car. I also bought some baked goods. The woman who made them told me the cookies were really good and she lied. The brownies were good but they were basically bite sized, for $.50. Come on now.
Disappointed, we left for the second sale of the day in Mason, MI, which is basically in the middle of nowhere. The ad for the sale sounded great, and the pictures looked good too. It was a house and barn sale. Anyway, when we pulled up, we saw a bunch of insane things, including this:
If it’s hard to make that out, it’s a little craft tent, full of large white piggy banks with people’s names painted on them. What the hell? Erin immediately started going ballistic, yelling, “I thought this was an estate sale! Is this a craft sale?!” I’ll admit I was worried too. Anyway, there were some scary peeps outside the barn that was next to the craft tent, so we went inside the house first. There were a few tables of vintage ephemera, which is my jam, but not an overwhelming amount. There were a few piles of vintage cards that they’d had priced at $1 each. Whatever, I bought some. I’m not proud.
When I was looking through the stuff on the table, I heard some people say things like, “oh just wait until you go upstairs!” so I was really excited to find out what treasures awaited us up there. Turns out this person was just OBSESSED with scrapbooking and there was a sh*tload of scrapbooking supplies up there. The one thing I noticed right away was that everything was in big batches and had signs that said “CHOICE” above the price. As in, “Your choice of gross scrapbooking paper for $.50.”
We got out of the house and went around the corner into the basement, that you had to enter from outside. It was terrifying. Here is a picture of Erin, climbing down into the depths of hell:
There was nothing but junk in the basement—totally not worth the scary descent. Finally, it was time to check out the barn. When we were walking in, Erin said, “This must be where all the treasures are.” She was definitely right:
I can’t decide what I wanted more—a mini washboard or a Lowe’s paint stick.
We were ultra disappointed, but then a man with black stubs for teeth told me that we could get into the top level of the barn by going around to the back. We did just that, and found this:
Yes, that’s right. A whole bunch more junk. While we were walking around up there, Erin spotted some boxes full of USPS Priority Mail boxes and went crazy like she hit the jackpot. I seriously got excited until I realized that she was that enthused about boxes. Anyway, this person must have done a lot of shipping because there were TONS of boxes. Granted, it was a good find—these were the boxes that they never have at the actual post office. They’re smaller sized ones. Anyway, the boxes were in great shape, so we started carrying around these huge armloads of shipping boxes.
They got pretty heavy and difficult to carry so I set mine down for a minute. When I went to pick them back up, I noticed that the outside box had a bunch of animal droppings on it. I got really grossed out and went back to the pile of boxes to try to find some that did not have turds on them. I thought we were safe and then Erin noticed that her boxes also had turds on them. Finally, we had a bunch of boxes that seemed poo-free, and started walking out of the barn. Now, I had thought that these droppings were from mice. But when we were leaving, two guys working the sale asked us if we found everything ok. I said yes, except I could have done without the mouse poo. One of these hillbillies said, “Those are bat droppins!” I looked at Erin and said, “I think bat droppings are poisonous!” We freaked out a little and then asked the checkout lady about it and she said they were safe. Whaaaa?
We got back to the car and put all our poopy boxes inside and decided to get some kettle corn with our poo hands. Yeah, I forgot to mention that they also had a kettle corn stand there. Here’s a picture of me looking less excited than I actually was to get kettle corn:
Once we obtained the corn, we had a dilemma on our hands (NO PUN INTENDED)… How were we going to eat this delicious treat when we had potentially poisonous poo particles on our hands? We tried to squeeze out the remnants of our two small bottles of purell and decided that was good enough. Then, Erin started reading stuff on the Internet about guano, and we got REALLY freaked out. It wasn’t until a little later that Erin read that the excrement has to actually be in large quantities and “moist” in order for it to have the poisonous fungus or whatever on it. But we spent a good two hours worrying. At one point, Erin’s eye kept itching and she kept saying she had “guano eye”.
Since it was still pretty early in the day, we decided to drive to Okemos for a sale that looked sort of interesting. The guy who lived there obviously served in World War II, so there was a bunch of cool ephemera and clothing from WWII. It was a good way to end the day, because we both found some decent treasures. As mentioned on Friday, I found what will hopefully be the first of many bulge photos, and Erin scored some treasures that I’m sure she’ll write about below.
I found an old Tuco puzzle that looks like it could sell for a little bit of money. Adam helped me out by putting it together last night and today so I could be sure all the pieces were there. I tried to do some of it this afternoon and failed miserably—the pieces do not interlock, so it’s so hard to put it together!
I also took a risk and purchased a decent sized group of personal photos from the war for $25. I have to do a little research before I list them, so I’m not sure yet if they’re valuable or not. I also got two menus from 1944, and some vintage pamphlets about Iceland that Erin found but for some reason did not want. Turns out they may be worth some cash. Here are the menus:
I also found this really cool, mid-air picture of a kid at a swimming pool.
Update from Erin: Let me first say, that I was “gazing at the rafters in the barn” of the first sale for a very IMPORTANT reason. I wasn’t really obsessed with the wood, I was just pretending. Here’s the deal: It is super awkward to take pictures at these sales we go to. People seem very suspicious when we are snapping pics all over the place. My whole “I-just-love-barns-so-much” act was a well thought-out charade to explain why I was taking photos. I must be a really great actress because I clearly fooled Sarah.
The second sale was such a bummer, except for the kettle corn. The ad for the sale went on and on about antiques. Let me explain something: mass produced mini washboards that look all old-timey do NOT qualify as antiques. Sure, they are made to “look” antique, but they are cheap and have Made in China stickers on them. Anyway, I was happy with our shipping boxes. Here they are in the trunk:
I also got a TON of Sharpie markers, which I use all the time. And, for the record, my “guano eye” turned out to be my allergies, and it’s all back to normal now. Oh and also, I kept saying “guana” instead of “guano” which Sarah found hilarious. I then said something about Guana being a country, and that I was confusing it with bat poop. All of that I think is a lie, as I am probably just thinking of the country Ghana.
The last sale was good. I got some Cole Hann men’s boots and some vintage French Shriner dress shoes, each for $3. I am hoping to resell them. I also got a vintage Gucci watch that was in a ziploc with other watches all being sold for $10. I am hoping that it ends up being a Money Maker.
I also picked up this old print, which I thought was some sort of secret society-type art. Zach thinks it is religious art. The jury is still out on this one, but I think it is so cool, no matter the meaning.
I also got this adorable oven mitt that Sarah was horrified by. I think it is probably the cutest oven mitt ever made.