Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Paying Yard Sale Prices for Each Golden Memory....."*

*"Yard Sale" - lyrics by Kathleen Wilhoite

Disclaimer - I am not a hard-core yard sale fan.   I look forward to sleeping in on the weekends, and have no desire to rise at the crack of dawn to root through piles of discarded children's toys, knick-knacks, old tools, and mismatched dishes.   Also, I have so much stuff crammed into my little apartment there's barely room for me and Fred.  However, that being said, when there's over a hundred yard sales taking place within a four block radius of your house, it seems silly not to have a bit of a browse....

This past weekend was the Old East Village Community Yard Sale (Old East Village is the name of my neighbourhood).   According to the map that was created for the event, there were 109 yard sales and I thought with that many households participating there might be something worth buying, and if not, it was a perfect excuse to explore the neighbourhood.  

 My first stop was one of my neighbourhood's best-known gardens - the owner of the house started it 11 years ago, and has put every square inch of his small front yard to good use.

Reid, shown above in his garden, has squash, strawberries, peas, tomatoes, and I'm not sure what else growing in his garden, which takes an lot of work to maintain, but pays off in the amount of food he is able to harvest.

A couple of blocks over, I met Ronnie, a very independent (and gorgeous) cat, and her people

A deity lounged in someone's front yard

local birds have a choice of traditional or modern design in housing

Depending on the number of yard sales on a particular street, some were hopping with folks looking for bargains, while others were extremely quiet.

It was the busiest I had seen my 'hood in a long time; parking on the street was at a premium

Most of the houses in Old East have small front years, and many folks have chosen to fill this space with wild flowers or perennials

I couldn't tell if this was someone's front yard or back yard

Another front yard-turned-garden

These enterprising folks had cold drinks, hot dogs, and muffins for sale

The neighbourhood is about 130 years old, and most of the houses in the area are brick with small front porches that are well-used by the residents.

I made it to about half the sales, and while the goods on offer were pretty standard yard sale fare, I did pick up a couple of things for a couple of bucks a piece.

Clockwise from top left - Italian made platter, clay figure made in Eastern Europe (judging by the language on the label inside), and "Angel Resonator Bells" which come in their own little case, but are missing the "balls on sticks" that you use to strike the keys, so I will have to improvise.

Despite my initial claim that I don't go out of my way to attend yard sales, this was in fact the second weekend in a row that I had come home with someone else's discards.  Two weeks ago my friend Heather and I came across a yard sale after our usual Saturday morning coffee get-together, and we were surprised by the quality and variety of things for sale.  I got....

Clockwise from left - woven basket purse from Thailand, 1960's plaster wall ornament, one of two decorative tea light holders (the other one needs the hanging chain replaced)

The purse matched what I was wearing, so it seemed it was meant to come home with me.  The woman having the sale gave me the black sun hat because she thought it completed the outfit.

Black and gold wrap skirt, gold bracelet, ceramic guard cat - thrifted from store in my 'hood
Thai woven bag, plaster wall ornament and hat - yard sale
necklace - gift from the lovely Curtise
gold slippers - thrifted
ceramic guard cat - thrifted


  1. your hood looks so pretty. I love a "crazy garden" instead of grass, much more interesting.

  2. Whoa, you skirt is beautiful. In many areas in the US, there are actually ordinances against growing veggies in one's front yard!

  3. wow your area is really nice . just like the houses on the telly. i love all the lush gardens. you got some lovely things. i would love to visit america and visit all the yard sales. you look very elegant in your outfit. happy hunting.

  4. fabulous neighborhood, lovely front yards and great purchases, that clay figure is pretty cute!, and so awesome bag!.
    you look really elegant and fresh, absolutely matchy and gorgeous!
    besos & summertime

  5. What a great community event, I'd love to have something like that here. Like you, I would enjoy the wandering and chatting and checking out people's gardens as much as the shopping element! Some of those gardens look incredible, and houses with big porches at the front seem so quintessentially North American, we don't really have them here.
    You managed to find some interesting things too. Love the chickens on the plate (reminds me of Amber - I miss her) and the little ceramic lady with the Dalmatian is adorable. The bag, lantern and plaque look as though they could all be Thai, did they all come from the same seller? They are all beautiful, as is your outfit. Monochrome never looked so funky and stylish! You look very tall and svelte and elegant, Shelley. xxxxx

  6. A community yard sale is such a great idea. You can find fab items and get to know your neighbors a little better. You look lovely in black.

  7. You live in an absolutely beautiful neighborhood and enjoyed the tour. Your yard sale outfit was stylishly completed with the purse and gifted sun hat. I am not a yard sale junkie, but I've found a few great ones this summer that have provided some basics that I needed and some unexpected pieces that I will treasure forever.

  8. Your neighbourhood is lovely, those gardens are so lush and green. I'd love it if the UK had such events, you can't beat nosing around other people's gardens.
    Love Ronnie the cat and the ceramic guard cat! You found some groovy stuff adn your outfit is heavenly! xxx

  9. What a lovely neighborhood you live in!! I adore the fabulous gardens!!
    You looked quite stylish in your yardsale ensemble!!1 And you got some wonderful goodies!!

  10. What a cool hood you live in! Seems so lush just like portland! Your scores are pretty sweet, I love the basket and the ceramic cat is mad good!

  11. I'm not big on yard sales either, but hey, I would have caved for this event too - if for no other reason than to enjoy the neighbourhood atmosphere. The front yard gardens are tremendous!
    I also love what you're wearing. Yes, the hat is the perfect topper for this. Wrap skirts are my favourite.

  12. what a beautiful garden! I love that little doll, is she offering up a chicken? The guard cat is rather wonderful too. You look delightful in that outfit, gold and black rather 30s too.