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.

19 comments:

~*Jenn*~ said...

That looks like SO much fun Laura! The lines and wait would kill be though, how could you do it?! Great finds though for sure, and there's nothing wrong with exposing a slight crack as long as it's for a good cause (or benefit).

Patti said...

Sounds like a lot of fun...and you got some great items...especially the vase - what a deal! I could never have passed up that beautiful chair - I admire your restraint!!!

Jessica said...

Thriftology, love it! We are all now thriftologists :-)

Wanderluster said...

You scored some great buys! Love the hobnail vase.

Renovation Therapy said...

This post cracked me up from start to end. Oh we are going to have so much fun this week!!!

Shorely Chic said...

OMG, I would LOVE that event! I think I would have to rent a school bus to fit everything!! Hope you got lots of great stuff, and I want to come to the next one! Connecticut needs more sales like that!

Purple Flowers said...

Love the lingo "thriftology" :)

Caren said...

That looks like SO much fun. I'm jealous! The Santa mugs are my favorite. I love mid-century kitsch!

Weef! said...

Love the goodies!!! FYI-- if you go on Sunday, it's "bag day"... most of the tents are $10 per brown paper grocery bag, you stuff it... you'd be surprised how much stuff you can get in one of those bags!

Frau said...

I want to come too! Great finds...love the cookbook and I would have snatched that chair up in a heartbeat.

svelteSTUFF said...

...mmm Yes. A 'love~hate' relationship with an annual sale! I can relate!! Somehow, it just HAS to be done.

Tina said...

ooooo fun and that cheneille blanket. I love those.
T

Kwana said...

That looks like a seriously good sale. Give a shout before hand and I'd be out there too next year. That vase be beautiful. Enjoy it!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I would have to visit each tent to make sure I didn't miss anything. :)

My family had the Santa mugs when I was little. Who knew I was mid century. :)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Ohhhh! Can I come along next year? I love the vase and the chair! A vintage Itlaian cookbook is a great find and so are the cute Santa mugs.

And it's for the Visiting Nurses! They are the best!

j.cro said...

I'm pretty sure you have a very nice butt crack!
Great scores - I don't know how you do it!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I love to go on these vicarious thrifting trips where I buy that chair that you left behind! Laura, I would have snatched that puppy up in no time flat, painted it a fab color, and added a cushy fun cushion to the seat. Love it, but I also love your goodies you did buy. And Santa... oh, how cute! Love him winking.

Great going on this hunt...

XO,

Sheila :-)

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Ha, ha ha...just had lunch with daughter number one and told her I was pretty sure that we would be going there next time they had a sale! I am pretty sure that we have at least a bachelors in thriftolgy at this point, but will continue to work toward that PHD!!
♥, Susan

Sue said...

Well we did just a good as you did.....we went on Sunday and it was fill a bag for $10....talk about bargains!! the Bon Ton Tent was half off....daughter scored a mink hat in one of our $10. bag full O' stuff bags....it was a red letter day....but we did not find the people to be nice...we kept getting yelled at for trying to enter the tents thru the exits and trying to leave thru the entrances....