Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Brother, What a Repair

One of the aspects of garage saling I enjoy is the opportunity to bring new use or life back to castoff objects.  That may mean refinishing abused furniture or a little tinkering on mechanical or electrical items to get them back to 100% (or close) operation.

The Brother stereo I bought last year fell into that category.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Pink Dot that Hurts a Lot?

I found this partly-used box of Sylvania Flashbulbs (with the Blue Dots for Sure Shots) at an estate sale a while back.

I had absolutely no use for them (having sold my Land Camera last year) , but I liked the box graphics and it was only $1.

I was familiar with the Blue Dots, but I'd never heard that they could turn pink indicating they had gone bad. Apparently, the blue dot is Cobalt Chloride which turns pink when exposed to moisture in the air, indicating a vacuum leak in the bulb and therefore no good, not to mention possibly dangerous if used; cracked flashbulbs have a tendency to explode.

I'm Nuts, You're Nuts, We're All Nuts for Spudnuts

Going through some of my collected ephemera the other day, I came across this postcard.  

Son of Stuff I Can Live Without

Continuing the Stuff I Can Live Without series, I present to you the following:

I saw this homemade chip and dip combo at a local antique mall.  The creator has done the unthinkable and destroyed two of the  butter-dish cereal bowls similar to those I wrote about here.  A few blocks of wood and bottlecap arms and legs later and you’ve got…well, you can see what you’ve got.  

Now that I think of it, it kind of reminds me of William Shatner in stereotypical Mexican attire.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Best Christmas Present I Never Got

My mom provided daycare for a couple of kids back in the 70’s when I was about 10.  It was a brother and sister and the boy was a year younger than me.  I recall one day shortly after Christmas he brought one of his presents over.  It was a Marx Magic Shot Shooting Gallery.  The Gallery was a plastic box similar in shape and size to a 13” tube tv with a piece of plexiglass closing off the targets inside. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Mail

Previously I wrote of the decline of Christmas card sending.  I found this related item at an estate sale earlier this month.  I found it at the blingle house.  

The basket in front is a pocket to store your flood of Christmas cards until you get a chance to open them.

I'm not sure what kind of bicycle Santa is riding, but he seems to be engulfing everything but the wheels and the ends of the handle bars.  Stick to the sleigh, Santa.

Monday, December 23, 2013

For That Swell Guy I Married

I found this oversized Christmas card somewhere some years back.  It measures 13" x 9.5" which made for great difficulty in scanning.  I had scan each section in four parts and stitch them together, so I hope someone appreciates it!

If features the husband as Clark Griswald-esque, bumbling by lovable.  I love the wife's wardrobe.  I wonder if I could talk my wife into one of those...

Aluminum! It's Not Just for Christmas Trees Anymore!

I consider it fortunate that the items I seek out at estate sales are generally not the focus of the majority that attend them.  I find vintage ephemera to be fascinating and luckily it remains affordable at most sales.

I found this brochure for Alcoa Aluminum at a garage sale years ago.  It dates from 1959 and touts the many uses of aluminum.  Alcoa is still in business today.  I wonder if they still manufacture the "fish finder"...

From: Me To: You

I found these tags in a Christmas card box at an estate sale a few weekends ago.  I love the graphics on these.  The style just can't be replicated despite the best efforts of repro artists; I wonder why that is.  Anyway, I thought now would be a good time to publish them in case anyone is looking for some vintage tags with which to festoon their Christmas gifts.  Is everyone's gifts wrapped?

Season's Greetings

I was finishing up writing my Christmas cards this year and noted how few I'd received the previous year.  With the advent of the internet and constant contact through texting, emails and social media, the art of sending Christmas cards is definitely declining, and I think that's sad.  While I can appreciate how much closer people are today with these new tools at their disposal, the idea of sitting down and taking the time to write a personal note on a Christmas card is one I hate to see fade away.

At an estate sale this past Summer, I found a scrapbook in which the owner had pasted Christmas cards she had received over the years.  These probably date from the 1940's or 1950's.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ding Dong! It's 1973 Calling!

If anyone ever asked me what I see most of, but never buy at garage sales,I'd say it's Avon bottles.  For some reason, people collected these things like they were going to be worth tons of money.  They're not.  I guess they were the Beanie Babies of the 70's.

But when I came across a cache of old Avon Christmas catalogs, of course I picked them up.

First up are two from 1973.  They're identified as "Campaign 23" and "24".

Not much to say about these, just enjoy.

Campaign 23

Have Yourself a Little Golden Christmas

I've been intending to do a post on Little Golden Books I've collected from garage sales over the years.  Frankly, the sheer volume of books I have has put it off. I thought I'd compromise with a Christmas-themed post of them.

First up is Frosty the Snow Man.  Originally published in 1950, below is a 1980 edition.  Not quite the Rankin-Bass version, it sticks more closely to the famous song.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas - Now with Brownulation

I'm heading out of town for a quick get-a-way this weekend, so I'll leave you with some ads from the December 1966 edition of Family Circle.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How Aluminum are your Branches

I assembled this little mid century Christmas package from pieces I've picked up over the past few years. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What was on TV December 8th through 14th, 1979

This will be a short post as far as comments.  But we all know you come for the pictures anyway.  Christmas specials were really gearing up this week in 1979.  Things I noted were how many celebrity Christmas specials there were.  From Crystal Gayle to Pat Boone to Donnie and Marie to Dean Martin.  Even though these show were usually pretty bad (Bing Crosby's Christmas Specials being the exception of course) I miss seeing them.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Blingle All the Way

This past summer I picked up yet another dancing Santa similar to the ones I blogged here.  But this Santa had been seriously blinged out by its enthusiastic owner:

I vaguely recall when people were blinging things out with pins and beads in the early '70's and this Santa was a victim beneficiary of that fad.
Then yesterday at an estate sale in Affton I found the perfect accompaniment for him.

The owner of this tree was seriously into blinging.  There were numerous other blinged pieces there and I picked up a few:
Blingle Claus and Blingle Tree, together at last.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Santa's Busy Busy

I stopped at an estate sale last night on my way home.  It was an odd Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday sale.  It was the end of the second day, so there wasn't much left, but I did pick this up for a quarter.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stuff I Can Live Without

Reading through this blog, you might wonder if I have any limits to what I will buy.  Believe it or not, I do.  I've been toying around with the idea of profiling things I can definitely live without and I've decided this item will be my first installment of a series I like to call "Stuff I Can Live Without".

Sleep well.

Merry Christmas Clara and Les, Wherever You Are

Some people wonder why I buy personalized items at garage and estate sales.  I find it adds to the charm of the piece and gives it a sense of history.  I bought this dish in Webster Groves this past fall.

Monday, December 2, 2013

What was on TV November 25th through December 1st, 1978

Time for another look into television past.  This week, it's November 25th through December 1st, 1978 with a Suzanne Somers cover and a look at the New World of Video Discs.

Santas on Parade

Tis the season, so I thought I'd share some of my Christmas finds this past year.  Specifically Santa figures.  I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for the fat, bearded, jolly one, and I don't mean Orson Welles.  Most of these figures are plastic from Japan or Hong Kong dating from the late 1960's to 1970's.  These were all bought for $1 or less.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

What was on TV November 18th through 24th, 1979

Continuing my TV Guide marathon...  Wait a minute. This isn't TV Guide, but rather a knock-off from the local St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  These came in the weekend edition and just recently (a couple years ago) ceased publication.  One difference with Television Magazine versus TV Guide is Television Magazine began its schedule on Sunday's programming.  Anyway, here's Television Magazine from November 18th through 24th, 1979 with a cover graced by Big Bird.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's About Time I Reviewed a Book

Whenever I shop garage or estate sales, I always make it a point to stop and go through the books.  Occasionally, you'll find a rare or old one, but usually just a good read and that's generally all I'm looking for.

One genre I like to collect is children's books, mostly the Scholastic books and their ilk you bought via monthly flyers.  Memories of pouring over those mini catalogs and the excitement when the teacher would open the box of newly arrived orders are some of my favorite of elementary school.

I've had the idea of doing a review of some of the books I've found and read for some time and having just completed one found book recently, I thought now was the perfect opportunity.

Now, given that lead up, I'll bet your expecting a Scholastic book?  Nope, I'm throwing you a curve; maybe even a bean ball.  But the series of coincidences in finding the book along with its content make for an interesting tale.

Webster Groves is a suburb of St. Louis.  My grandparents lived there and I spent many weekends and holidays with them.  In their final years, they enjoyed going to the local library and I would go with them weekly.  Occasionally, I like to drop back in for a visit and a recent remodel gave me an incentive to see what had changed.

Walking in the front door, I scanned the books for sale, as I always do.  One title caught my eye and at first I mistook it for the similarly titled book by one of my favorite authors, Jack Finney.  But the book, "It's About Time", was instead written by Bernal C. Payne, Jr.  Judging by the poorly drawn cover and the corny title, I knew it had to be a time travel story.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What was on TV November 12th through 18th, 1977

Making good on my word, here's this week's TV Guide from this week in 1977.  This issue is a New York City edition.  I'm not sure how I came into possession of this, considering I live in St. Louis.

Anyway, the big television event this week was the broadcast premier of "The Godfather Saga", a reworked edit by Francis Ford Coppolla of "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II" with extended scenes and new material closing the gaps.  I have never seen any of these movies (insert gasp here).

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cool Drink Recipes

Sure, Summer's over, but drinks can be cool anytime of the year!

I found this in the basement bar of a house in Marlborough today.  The cover is what caught my eye.  Would you accept a drink from this woman?

She looks like she thinking in her best Jack Nicholson voice, "Wait'll he gets a load of these..."

I found this tucked inside.

They had me until the Chow Mein Noodles.

Anyway, enjoy these recipes and let me know if anyone tries them!

Magic Slate

I bought this for $1 at an estate sale a couple weekends ago.  I told my kids this was our generation's iPad.  It required no electricity or wifi and cost only 36 cents.  The only thing powering it was imagination.

A close cousin to the Etch-a-Sketch, this simple device required no knobs to turn, just a red plastic stylus (unfortunately lost on mine).  For those of you too young to remember these, it was simply a piece of gray plastic over a black waxy backing.  When drawn on with the provided magic pencil, a picture could be drawn.  To erase it, you simple lifted the paper and it was ready for another drawing.

Retro toy maker Schylling still sells their version of the Magic Slate and does oldtimecandy.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What was on TV November 3rd through 9th, 1979

As promised, I'm going to attempt to keep up with weekly TV Guide posts.  From 34 years ago, we find Mr. and Mrs. Hart on the cover.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Projection: Cloudy with a Chance of Ghosts

Happy Halloween, everyone.  In addition to my love for garage and estate sales, I also have a passion for Halloween.  Occasionally, the streams cross.  Such was the case last weekend. 

I had been looking for a new feature for my Halloween decorations and had come across these projectors from holidayprojector.com.  Essentially, they are rear-projection systems you can place in a window and gives the illusion of ghosts walking around in your house.  The kits cost $269, way more than I was willing to spend on a Halloween prop.

Coincidentally enough, I spied a similar projector in an ad for an estate sale in Des Peres, Missouri.  That's a little bit further than I usually drive, but I was hoping for a bargain.  As it turned out, they wanted $45 for it.  I checked ebay and found with shipping, the same projector costs between $25 and $30.  I told the person running the sale this and despite it being the first day of the sale, they dropped the price to $20 on the spot.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trick or Treat

Whenever I look through stacks of vinyl at garage and estate sales, I’m always on the lookout for Halloween records.   Christmas records abound, but Halloween records are fairly scarce.  At the same sale where I found the Burger Chef Monster Fun records, I also came across one of my holy grails.  Actually, I have to give credit for both of those finds to a friend who was with me at the time, another vinyl collector who well knows my Halloween passion.

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