Thrifting, Driving, and Remembering

I have hit several estate and garage sales plus a couple of thrift stores in the last couple of weeks and want to share with you what I have found. In addition, the Lord has put some things on my heart that I am feeling led to discuss, so just go to the pics if you’re only interested in the table and purchases.

Two weeks ago, David and I visited Driveway Man. We haven’t been by there in a while, and he told us when we got there that he didn’t have much that day. Sure enough, he didn’t, but I did pick up a croquet set, not vintage, but a nice one. I have no idea if it will sell or not, but I got it cheaply enough that I can always keep it if it doesn’t sell. I have wonderful memories of playing croquet at my grandmother’s house, so maybe I was just feeling nostalgic. He also sold me a box deal of really nice cookbooks at a great price. I put them in my booth immediately, and a couple have already sold. I was looking at a shelf he had in the yard that obviously needed work. David and I were discussing whether or not it would be worth fixing up, not for resale, but for display in the booth. Driveway Man saw us looking at it and gave us a hard to beat price: Haul it off! Needless to say, it is sitting in the garage.

Then we went on to David’s parents’ home, picked them up, and drove to a small town north of them for a few hours of antiquing and looking. David and I didn’t really find anything, but we enjoyed looking and spending the day with them. As a bonus, we saw an old friend that we haven’t seen in several years and enjoyed a brief conversation of catching up.


Earlier this week, I made it to our local thrift store and got a few things that I will put in the booth in the spring. This small pierced porcelain basket is really pretty.


Likewise, this larger pierced porcelain basket looks great. I can just see it in an Easter vignette.


This little flower pot is cute and will look good with or without a plant in it.


I also found this little porcelain item which could be a flower pot or just a cute little holder for something on a spring table. I think the flowers are pink dogwood, perfect for Easter. These little items didn’t cost much, and I won’t charge a lot for them since I think it’s a good idea to have some inexpensive items in the booth. Then yesterday I planned another antiquing trip for us. We began by driving to small city about 1 1/2 hours south of us. On our way to the sale, we stopped at a garage sale.


I purchased two boxes (1 doz. in each) of Christmas ornaments that may have never been used.


They are really cute little Christmas characters and images. They remind me of Christopher Radko ornaments. I’ll be able to sell these individually and do well with them.


I also got this Christmas platter. During 2012, my Christmas platters sold well; during 2013, they did not. I really can’t predict, but decided to go ahead and purchase it.


Then we found the estate sale. It was the house right next door to the one we had been to in August! Remember that miserably hot Labor Day weekend that I bought the aqua dishes? I did not have as much luck as I did then, however. I got this great Frankoma divided vegetable dish (the original price is still on it: $2.25).


I also found a set of 4 cute little juice/wine glasses, but that was it. Then we went on to the next estate sale in a town about 30 miles south of there.

That estate sale was high-end, nothing we could afford for ourselves, much less for resale. I did test myself on some of my newly acquired furniture knowledge there, however, and I think I did all right at identifying some of the pieces. The trip was not wasted because we discovered a great junk store there. David got a table, and we think we made a good connection. They also buy stuff, so I will keep that in the back of my mind when I have things that don’t sell at the flea market.


Then we traveled to the southeast about 40 minutes and visited some flea markets and antique malls that we like. I found the cutest Christmas snack set at one of them. Each of the four plates has a different design on it and a mug to match.


There is also a little porcelain spoon to go with each mug. Really cute! One booth had 50% off on all of its books, and I purchased some glassware and antiques books that will be good for me to use for research, and I also purchased some table linens for myself that I will show in a future tablescape. Today I am only showing what I purchased for resale.

Then we headed back home a different way so that we could make some other stops, one to eat a great lunch at a Ruby Tuesday. I haven’t been to one of those in a while and got some of the best Cajun pasta that I’ve ever had.


We ended up at a junk store in the town next to ours where my husband works. After we officially began in the antiques and collectibles business, I stopped at this junk store a few times. The place was crammed full of so much stuff that it was hard to walk around, much less see what all was there. Not only was everything filthy, but it was also overpriced. The things in there were even more that what you could buy it new at a store! Obviously, I stopped going there. Well, David told me that the store was under new management and that he wanted to give it a try.


What a difference! It turns out that the man who owned it died and that his wife had been telling him for years that he needed to clean it out so that he would know what he had and to reduce the prices so that he could get rid of stuff. She took over after his death, and the place has done a total turn around! We could see what they had, we could walk around, and the prices were much reduced. For the most part, the prices were still higher than we can pay for resale, but I did get three sets of dishes, all complete and still in boxes. They gave me a lower price because I bought 3 sets; more important, we feel like we made a good connection and they have promised to call when they have more dishes like I like and more furniture like David likes. I love the yellow set above; it is a Gibson set called Tuscan Petals. The mug is also Gibson, the set is called Bay stripes. Do you remember a visit I took a while back to see my son and forgot some dishes? Yes, this the same pattern that I bought then, so I now have an 8-place setting of it for sale!


The last set I bought from this store is by Sango. It is called Home for Christmas.


Then we headed home, tired from our long day of driving, but feeling good about all of our purchases. I have recently discovered that being a dealer has some perks; a few days ago I was invited to what I call a “private estate sale.” In other words, someone wants to get rid of stuff but doesn’t want a lot of people in their house, so they just personally call and invite one or two dealers to come by. I was so excited and pleased to be invited by a former student and friend of my son’s to her grandmother’s home. She and her husband are purchasing the home and renovating it. All of the family had gotten what they wanted, and she was selling the rest. Basically, we went through and found what we wanted and she gave us one price on everything. I think this turkey platter is cute and I’ve had good luck selling turkey platters in the past.


These vintage pottery candleholders caught my eye, and I put them in my stack.


I normally don’t buy anything with a flaw in it, but when I saw that this cracked bowl matched the candleholders, I took it. Decorative bowls with matching candleholders were called “console sets” and very popular in the forties and fifties. They were normally placed on a sofa table, piano, or something like that. What a great surprise when I got home to discover that these were made by Camark (an Arkansas pottery) and normally sell for a pretty penny. This set is probably the most monetarily valuable thing that I have purchased in the last few weeks.


This Oriental vase is really pretty.


I’m really tempted to keep it, but I won’t. I wish you could see it in person; my photos just don’t do it justice.


This vintage shell vase also looks better in person than in the photograph. It is probably from the 1940s.


This is a good old cookie jar made by American Bisque in the 1940s.


The tower is the lid, and there is a real bell in it. Cute, right????


I had to have a pair of Hull vases because I recognized the magnolia pattern and knew they would match the ones I already had. Guess what? They didn’t match; the new one is on the left and my old one is on the right. See the different shape? I love them and have them on the mantel with my other Hull pottery.


OK, here it is; the piece de resistance! I scored a complete set of vintage Homer Laughlin dishes (1957) in a pattern called Empire Green. To refresh your memory, Homer Laughlin often sold their dishes through distributing companies who in turn sold them through stores like Sears or Woolworth’s. These are marked on the bottom International China Company, but I knew these were HL right away.


Those aqua dishes I mentioned earlier? Even though they say Cunningham & Pickett, they were HL dishes. You will also notice that the shape is the same as the aqua ones. HL made several different shapes; this one is called Cavalier, and the company would decorate them differently.


So now to the last part of my title, remembering. My son’s close friend lost his wife a little over a year ago, and I was at her grandmother’s house purchasing these items and enjoying my visit with her sister. Today when I was getting everything out to photograph and then preparing the tablescape, I had some time to think how Jennifer’s grandmother might have used and enjoyed these dishes and vases.


I wanted to use the whole set for this table and to try to use it in  a way that a 1950’s wife and mother might have used it. Also, since I will be selling the set soon, I knew it would be the only tablescape I would do with it.


So I put the salad plate on top of the dinner plate and placed the fruit bowl on one side and cup and saucer on the other.


By the way, I love the way the cups have the delicate little flower on the inside. So sweet! I could just imagine Jennifer’s grandmother serving coffee to the ladies of the bridge club or Bible study in these pretty little cups.


I chose a pretty pink napkin to complement the flower on the plates and my Grosvenor silver.


The green stem of the iris on the console set is the perfect match to this china, so I chose it for the centerpiece. Would Jennifer’s grandmother have enjoyed setting this table as much as I did?


I wanted the serving pieces to stand out in the pictures, so I put them in holders. Of course, Jennifer’s grandmother would have never done that. I love this vegetable bowl!


This platter is also wonderful.


As I was setting the table, I wondered why a complete set of dishes were left after the kids/grandkids had gotten what they wanted. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Jennifer. Tears came to my eyes as I realized that there was one less granddaughter in that family now.


Jennifer’s sisters and cousin had gotten what they wanted from their grandmother’s home. With no more granddaughters to share with, a complete set of dishes was left for us dealers. I could not help but think that Jennifer would have gotten so much pleasure from using her grandmother’s dishes. I thought of that grandmother’s broken heart as no grandmother should ever outlive her granddaughter. However, I also thought of the joyousness of Jennifer’s sister raising her family in her dad’s childhood home and the happiness and years of making wonderful memories that await them there. I thought of Jennifer in heaven, no more pain and no more suffering, knowing that her sisters are carrying on their family traditions and values. So in the midst of my sadness, I tried to be happy for Jennifer’s family and praise God for the work that He has done and will do for those that she has left behind.


Thanks for putting up with my wistfulness and nostalgia. I am not as morose or sad as this post has ended up sounding. I am really blessed and touched to have something in my home that once belonged to that family. So count your blessings and tell your family that you love them this week!

I am joining: A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday, Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life , Vintage Thingie Thursday at Colorado Lady,   From the Farm at Sunny Simple Life, Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, Metamorphosis Monday, Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage ,  Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday,  Under the Table and Dreaming for Sunday Showcase ,  The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home, Brown Gingham Creations for Rednesday,  Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish, Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours,  Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill , Cottage Style at Lavender Garden, Homemaking Paty at Hope in Every Season,   The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday, The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday, What’s It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants; Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, Meet Me Monday at You Are Talking Too Much,  Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter, Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage, Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesdays at Kathe with an E, Mop it Up Monday at I Should Be Mopping the Floor , Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style ,  Make it Pretty Monday, Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House,Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style,  Create It Thursday at Lamberts Lately,   Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring,  Tuesday’s Treasures at Uncommon Suburbia,  Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life, Centerpiece Wednesday at The Style Sisters,Open House Party at No Minimalist Here Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage , Tips and Tidbits at The Stone Gable, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner , Sizzle into Summer at DIY by Design 

About Bev

I am a retired teacher who has only recently taken up tablescaping and blogging. For more information, see my About Bev link.
This entry was posted in Tablescapes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Thrifting, Driving, and Remembering

  1. Vicky Hunt says:

    Such a touching post Bev. I didn’t feel at all like you were sad….just thinking about what is and what might have been. The table you set was just lovely! You found some really great things for your shop too. I am sure you will sell it all! Have a wonderful week my friend.
    Blessings, Vicky

  2. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life says:

    Wow, some really super finds. Love it all. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, marty

  3. I too am a retired teacher. You sound like you have a very interesting business on the go. I love the iris bowl and candle holders! They are so vintage looking and lovely as well. They remind me of pictures of my mother and aunt in either dresses or dressing gowns that had large floral patterns on them. Thanks for sharing.
    Cathy Haley

  4. LaVoice says:

    A wonderful assortment of great buys.

  5. photogal01 says:

    How bittersweet this was to read. My heart goes out to your son’s friend. You are a sensitive soul to feel and think about the young lady and her family. The dishes are beautiful and I am sure that whether you keep them for yourself or sell them, that they will bring much pleasure in the future to someone.

  6. I too, love the vintage pieces and regularly go to thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sale. Would you believe that I have a vase that matches the candle sticks and bowl you picked up? It was my grandmother’s and then passed to my mom and now to me. It brings back fond family memories and I have it out so I can enjoy it every day.

  7. Patty says:

    Wow; lovely things! My favorite are the Hull vases and those pretty aqua dishes; you did great!

  8. Bev, this is a beautiful post. I love the dishes you used in the tablescape and all the wonderful things you found thrifting. Thanks for linking up to TTF!

  9. Patti says:

    Wow..great finds. The table scape is very nice. I like that you wanted to use it the way a a 1950’s mother/wife would have. My heart goes out to Jennifer’s family. You are right, no one should have to outlive their children/grandchildren, but you are right when you say that God will care for those that she left behind.

  10. K says:

    Awesome finds!
    I just found you on the blog hop and am so glad I did! You have an amazing blog and I’m now following! I can’t wait to read more!
    Hoping you’ll stop by and say hi sometime

  11. bittersweet my friend. Love the treasures though. Thank you for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop so much fun. Big Hugs ♥

  12. Melissa Page says:

    My husband and I inherited a set of Homer Laughlin China from January 1955. It is much like the Empire Green patter except the green goes further into the dish and there is gold overlay in a grape vine pattern. I have been unable to determine the pattern and wonder if you could help since you seem to be an expert. I would appreciate any help you could provide.

  13. Julia Edwards says:

    I have this pattern but in gray. I have not seen it in gray anywhere. I have a 12 place setting with all the serving dishes and cups as well. It was my grandma’s and she purchased it piece by piece from the Lazarus store in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Can you tell me anything about this pattern and why I can’t find any others in gray? I can only find it with the green. The pattern number is K53N5.

    • Bev says:

      The letters and numbers on the back are not the pattern number. K 53 means that the china was made in November of 1953. N 5 means that it was made in the Newell, WV plant at #5. The name of your pattern is called Empire Gray, while mine is called Empire Green. As for why you have a hard time finding it in gray, there are a number of possible reasons. Most HL china was sold to retailers, such as Sears, Woolworths, and the store you mention that I have never heard of. Some patterns were sold in certain parts of the country. For example, one pattern which might be found commonly here in the South at flea markets and thrift stores might not be found in other parts of the country if it was not marketed in those areas. Sometimes patterns that did not sell well were discontinued quicker than other patterns, another reason that your pattern might be hard to find. According to my HL book, this china was also made in Empire Red. Hope this helps.

  14. Julia Edwards says:

    I have this pattern but in gray. I have not seen it in gray anywhere. I have a 12 place setting with all the serving dishes and cups as well. It was my grandma’s and she purchased it piece by piece from the Lazarus store in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Can you tell me anything about this pattern and why I can’t find any others in gray? I can only find it with the green. The pattern number is K53N5. I would l9ve to know more about this China as she passed away when my dad was very young.

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