October 06, 2009
Visiting the Visiting Nurses. And buying stuff.
Susan and I did it: We conquered the 75,000 square-foot madness that is the Visiting Nurses of Somerset Hills Rummage Sale. Described as, "a bargain hunter's paradise" and "New Jersey's largest rummage sale," we found ourselves describing it as "exhausting," "overwhelming," and "wow...WOW!"
The VNAers are super organized, super friendly, and each genre of "item" has its own (ginormous) tent, most with long stretching lines of people champing at the bit to get in. One problem we found is that unless you've been there before the tent labeling system wasn't always intuitive. Like, lamp shades are in the "Electronics" tent, because lamps get plugged in (I thought the tent only had beat-up toaster ovens and microwaves). And "Vintage" has its own tent, but I found vintage Fenton milk glass in "Housewares." And later on, more vintage Fenton in "Bon Ton" (Susan and I are still trying to figure out why the "Bon Ton"...'cause I personally wouldn't consider a 1970s needlepointed Napoleon high class). And so on, and so on. You sort of need a PhD in Thriftology.
As mentioned I did score a large and lovely Fenton hobnail milk glass vase, with an equally nice price:
I did have to climb on a table and really, really s-t-r-e-t-c-h to reach it, possibly whilst exposing my butt crack ever-so-slightly in the process, but it was worth it. I got some jealous glances, particularly from the less limber of the bunch.
And I passed on these pilsner glasses, but had to snap a photo. They were in absolutely flawless condition, and I really hope they found a good home. Just look at those golden crowns:
Now that I sew I look at bedding and table linens in a whole new light. This floral tablecloth will make a couple of great beach bags, or outdoor pillows since the fabric is basically permanent press wash and wear:
I think my favorite find of the day was this twin sized chenille bedspread for $8:
I almost feel bad about cutting it up (for baby quilt and pillow backers).
And in the "Holiday" tent, I scooped up six mid-century Santa mugs ($20 total). Each is different, and a few are marked "Japan" which adds a tiny bit of a collectibility factor to them. Do I collect them? Well, I do now. Plus who doesn't want Santa winking at them?
I passed on this chair, but for $6 and some elbow grease, a bright coat of paint and a fabulous fabric seat cover this could be a fun piece.
Susan is a big book person, so the "Books" tent was like her Mecca. I found one little cookbook ($3), and just couldn't pass up the cover...
...or the amazing old school Italian recipes!
I just can't believe authentic Italian cuisine like this was available to American housewives in 1948 and they still ate vegetables out of a can! I can't wait to make the San Giuseppe pastries, and an epplant parm recipe I spied as well.
So -- will we go back next year? Hard to say. I mean, it's a good cause which we were happy about (Susan told her husband we were going to a "benefit." Good one, right? "Honey, I didn't buy junk, it was a benefit!"), but at the end of the day our own neighborhoods have great tag sales and the like without the lines and thousands (yes; there were thousands) of people.
But who am I kidding. I'll be on Susan's doorstep at dawn next time around.