Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekend Roundup at the EK Corral

Hey, you! How has your weekend been? Great, I hope! I'd like to thank everyone so much for your encouraging words on the contest that I'm in - to all of you who have pledged to vote for me... or spread the word... or posted things about the contest for people to see. I am eternally grateful and hope that I can return the favor someday. I can't wait to sit down with the final piece of my birthday cake tomorrow, read the latest comments and respond.

We've had a good weekend so far on the ranch. We hit up some estate sales and came away with several things, including two items that we've been looking for.

First, a nice pole lamp for the living room.

These style lamps have been consistently out of our price range every time that we see them but today, we paid a visit to a very not-so-good estate sale where right as we were about to give up with a "sigh" and a "yuck", I heard Mister come up and whisper in my ear just like we were secret agent spies, "There is a pole lamp". I turned the corner to find that the lamp was propped up in the corner with a huge sign on it saying that nobody had dare plug it in because we were all going to die. Well, the sign wasn't THAT explicit but the huge font and dangers of electrical fire punctuated with exclamation marks were enough. Mister Kitsch made a deal and got it for four dollars and brought it home and rewired it. For ten bucks total, we now have a lamp!

And I got those two throw pillows for the couch at the thrift for cheap. Yay!

And next up...concrete lawn deer!

I already had my fashion plate deer, Marlene Deertrich and I love her madly but I have always wanted a male deer to go next to her. When I found out that an estate sale was going to have concrete lawn deer, we drug out of bed painfully early and waited in front of the house. Poor Mister Kitsch. He's more of a "let's leisurely stop by that sale when we're ready" and I'm one of those people who can't stand the thought of it. I was nipping at his poor heels to get there when it started. When the sale opened, we stepped into that back yard and I caught a glimpse of this enormous buck and his female companion. Well, hello destiny! I gasped to Mister, "Go inside. Tell them yes! Tell them yes! We want the deer!" and then, "Okay! Wait! Find out how much they are and THEN tell them yes!" When he came back out with a price, I was a happy girl.

Then I leaned on the male deer and noticed that he didn't budge. Then I pushed on him and he didn't move. Then Mister tried to pick up one end and it looked like the deer was literally glued to the ground. I thought, "Oh great! I wait my entire life for this deer and I can't get him home..."

After that, the entire day (I kid you not..the entire day) was spent wrangling and trying to find someone to help us get the deer home...a mere five blocks away, but when you are dealing with a deer that weighs four or five hundred pounds, it doesn't come easy. In the end, we found a complete stranger on Craigslist to come with his trailer and help us move the deer for twenty bucks.

So, I spent this afternoon holding a deer wash which was highly successful.

And no, I didn't spend time lounging on the beach. That's my natural leg color...can you believe it?

We're going to repair Mr. Deer's tail and give them both a fresh paint job. Well, someday. We'll put it on "the list".

Before I left the sale, I asked the family if I could have the first name of their parents who'd left the estate. I was told that they were Dale and Garnet. Isn't Garnet a pretty name? Coincidentally, Garnet is the name of the husband in the husband and wife duo who built the fabulous roadside attraction spectacle called Rock City where the Mister and I got married! So, I've named them Dale and Garnet. I like to think that their original owners' memories will be carried on in this little corner of our yard. I'm planning to make a nice flower bed around them with some bright flowers and edging.

I also got this painting:

I collect anonymous portraits and this one is so beautiful to me. The girls pictured are two of the four girls who lived in the fantastic old home where I got it. I'm going to do another post on this house and the other houses that I visited this weekend. Oh, and if you live in Nashville and want to hit a great sale on Sunday, e-mail me and I'll tell you where to find this one house...wowee.

I don't know if any of you feel like this, but I told the Mister that when I hit a good estate sale where I can stay for a long time, poring over the collections and memory laden rooms, I feel like I've been on vacation. Maybe a mind vacation? For a while, I can completely immerse myself into the world of these complete strangers and not think of anything else. I can smile at what made them smile and drink in their touches of home decor. Sometimes, homes seem to radiate happiness and you can feel what it must have been like to live in them. Other times, it's easy to immediately get a sense of those who may have lived out their final years in sadness and worry.

Does anyone else do this or am I just some kind of estate sale empath? I'd love to know how all of you feel about estate sales. Do they make you sad? Uncomfortable? Gleeful? I know several people who get depressed at estate sales and even more people who get euphoric. What are your thoughts? Oh, and are you a sappy romantic who wants to find out who lived there and what happened to them (like me) or are you one of the people who grab and snatch and bump into people like me who are in the way, staring with misty eyes at some old greasy refrigerator muttering, "It's harvest god, it's harvest gold.."?

Until next time,
x's and o's,


Sara In AZ said...

Aw Shucks, it is too bad we don't live closer - we have a trailer and could have helped you out for free! Glad you got all the Deer safely home though, they look awesome! Mike and I are the same way about sales, I want to go early, he could care less. Sooooo, unless it is something REALLY important, I try to not have us wait in a big long line. :) Your pole lamp is rad-a-licious girl! Total score!!! I really do like estate sales, but I know what you mean about picking up the weird vibes - good or bad. There was this one sale a few years back, that I will never forget. I am actually going to do a post about it soon. The son was having the sale for his Mom's estate - she was in a nursing home. He was selling off all the family scrapbooks, pictures, whatever - even her gorgeous wedding gown. I was really broken hearted about this. I thought, 'How could he just sit by and let all of this go?' I wonder if he regrets it now?

Shane Tenczar said...

I am extremely jealous about the lamp and deer! I found a lamp on the side of the road the other day but I couldn't fit it in the car. I didnt like the light cones anyways but Im still had about that.

Good Finds Ma Kitsch!

Unknown said...

I have actually teared up at estate sales. Sometimes it is because I think about the people who lived there and sometimes it is because of the people who come in and literally desecrate their memory by being jerky buyers.

The best part of estate sales is going in after the first rush and finding all kinds of treasures because I have weird tastes in vintage!

Nicole said...

Kindred estate sale spirit! I love pouring over items at an estate sale. I am extremely emotional so I tend to have moment of somber reflection before digging in, but I really love trying to piece together the personality and lifestyle of those who once lived there. I especially love old photographs. I've spent hours at thrift stores and antique malls sorting through vintage pictures. Just the thought of looking at moments that were deemed important enough to document gives me a sense of awe and privilege. When I was single, I had a display of such photos in my apartment. Many people commented that it was morbid or just plain weird, but to me it was a way to remember a moment otherwise lost. It breaks my heart to think that someone's baby picture will never be proudly on display again. That person may be gone, but thanks to photography and my "morbid and weird" proclivity, their memory can live on.

But then again, I am a hopelessly emotional romantic. And I am in love with world, friendly or strange. Glad I'm not alone.

Straight Talking Mama! said...

I love the deer how fabulous!

We don't have such a thing as estate sales in the UK, I wish we did, I read about them with envy and of course the finds WOW! So I think I need to get rich and start flying over for estate sales ;o)

Anonymous said...

The key to Estate sales is to get there when they first open. The really good stuff is gone in the first 30 minutes. I make a quick run through and then a slow walk through the house. Sometimes I go just to see the house. There have been times I have stayed for an hour, looking at the house and taking a better look through the items. Some of the Estate Sale people have web sites and post pictures a day or so earlier. Hubby and I look through them, and note which room the items are in we are looking for. When we get there it's, "you go to the green room, I'll go to the kitchen" to find what it is we are looking for. It's a lot of fun. Hubby, since he grew up here and worked for the Post Office, usually knows whose house it was and can give me some history on the family, which makes it interesting, too. Love your deer finds!

Charm and Poise said...

Going to an estate sale is a little like finding someone else's photos and slides in a thrift store. It's thrilling and sad and makes you wonder what happened that this person's life washed up on the shores of a thrift store shelf.

But it's fun to enter into someone else's life for moment, I think. And if you can see that there are other like-minded people at the sale, then it doesn't feel to invasive or sad.

Great finds, girl!

Sherrie said...

oooooooooooh that lamp:::swooon::: What a score! Do you ever see any cateye glasses on your visits?

Poodle Superstar said...

I'm sort of on the fence about estate sales, though I never pass up a good one. Part of me says "Someone had to die so I could buy this (insert name of inanimate object here.)" The other part says " Somebody died and I'm here to help their stuff find a happy home again." Like it's a rescue mission. Some of them are just tear jerkers, like the ones where there's no family left, and you have all these photo albums and homemade things that say "I love Grandma" on them. Ugh. I went to one the other day where they had a photo album containing pics of their 1958 house being built,( the very one I was standing in!)along with their first year's adventure in the house. Now why didn't the new owners want that?! If I'd bought that house, I would have run off with that first thing.
Nifty pole lamp! I wish I had the know- how to rewire lamps and actually fix things.

Anonymous said...

the portrait is amazing. i love good estate sale because i figure when i leave this world i want a bunch of awesome people going apeshit over my cool stuff and getting great deals. sort of like when they open a tomb in egypt.

Eartha Kitsch said...

Sara: Ooh! You have a trailer! I think that everyone should have a trailer! That's really sad about the son who was selling all of the family memory items of his mom's. It's hard to believe anyone could be like that. I guess a lot of people are. I remember one sale that had an entire wall of family slides for sale, still in the carousels. And the family was still involved. I guess some people aren't sentimental...

rockabillyguy: Thanks son! That's a shame about the lamp. We can only hope that someone came along who really loved everything about it and snatched it up. Sounds like you could use a trailer too!

Though, I imagine that a lot of us would be dangerous in the bringing things home department if we had trailers!

Tart Deco: Me too! I always get a little stressed because there seems to be such a nervous energy before those doors open - but in the end, most people walk by most things that I am interested in. Their loss, right? :) It's really sweet that you tear up at some of the sales. I tell you, some of the buyers really do make one picture vultures..yikes.

Nicole: See, I think that's really awesome! I've always done that too - honestly, I guess about 95% of the pictures that I have displayed are not of my own family. I'm like you and hate to think of them lost and destroyed - yes, someone thought enough to preserve those memories so that makes them important. I'm glad that you do it too!

Straight Talking Mama: Thanks! And estate sales? That blows my mind! What do people normally do with unwanted estates there - does one dealer come and by it all? I wish that you could come over on an exchange program and go to some good ole crazy American estate sales. :)

Candis: Those websites are the best! I love to click on the pictures and examine each room to try and figure out what I want to look for. This last weekend, I had it all planned out but then most of the items had been bought by someone before the sale or something. It's true that it's a good idea to make a quick sweep and then do the slow walk through. And take a box or bag! :)

Charm and Poise: Thanks! It's really beautiful the way that you put that. I bet your new shores will be interesting to find and explore.

Sherrie: Thank you! You know, I only see them here in antique and vintage shops. I see mostly 70's and 80's glasses here at estate sales. The ones that I DO find, my head is too large for. I think you and I have talked about large heads before! :)

Poodle Superstar: Wow...It is so hard to imagine that a buyer wouldn't want those treasures concerning their new home. Those hold a wealth of history and information. I'd love to have those about my house! And thanks! It's a lot easier to rewire things than you might think. You should try a small project with help from the internet. You'll be aces!

lynxymama: Hey, thanks! "sort of like when they open a tomb in Egypt" - I love that! It's perfect! I want the same thing...someone to come through and squeal. :)

john said...

Box up that pole lamp and have it shipped to the Village Green STAT! Name your price, young lady.


Eartha Kitsch said...

Ooh...I'll have my people talk to your people. And we'll have to do the deal when the Mister is out of town. Maybe he won't even care when he finds out that we got a Carmen in the deal. :)

cheshirecat666 said...

Hooray,Marlene has a husband! And he's a HUNK,too Congrats,babe!

Eartha Kitsch said...

Ha! Isn't he handsome? All of the girls are going wild for him. It's like an Elvis movie around here. Except with concrete deer playing the parts of Elvis and the swooning girls!

Barbara said...

Okay, I have never seen a concrete deer, female or male, and now I want one. Badly.

California must be picked clean of cool estate stuff. It seems CA is more of a throwaway state than the East coast and South are.

#1989 of things I must do before I die - go thrifting in the south and the east coast!! Oh, and the midwest too!

Alexandra Bitchford said...

Love estate sales! When I bought my house, I bought it from the original owners. He had passed away already, but he still hangs out in the attic. Our phone line crackles at 9:20 each night. I think that's when he goes to sleep. At any rate, the kids left everything in the basement for me, and it was like having my own estate sale, and I was the only buyer! I found old photos that I've since framed for the house. Mr. Pruitt, my ghost, was a photographer. I also found cool
50's planters that I've kept. While doing some yard work, I had found the family's little yard sign. It said Pruitt and had the address on it. I hung it up. What hell, right? It was original. A few years ago, the wife passed away, and the kids came back to bury her in the town I live in. They stopped by the house and wanted to see it. They were pleased that I had stayed true to the MCM vibe. The son noticed the yard sign and cried. I told him he could have it for his yard. I was really scared that I would lose my ghost, but I didn't. I'm not sure if Mrs. Pruitt ever joined him in the haunting of my attic, but I hope she did.

I often think about someone like me digging through my belongings when I'm gone. I won't have children, and I'm the youngest in my family. Chances are that strangers will get all of my things. I hope someone like us can find some joy in my belongings. Who knows? Maybe I'll get to watch from the attic with Mr. Pruitt! :)

Monica said...

HI Cheshirecat!!!!

I can spend HOURS at the estate sales and I get all nostalgic and sad wondering about their lives! :) You are not the only one! :) YES that is a great description its a MIND vacation! I can get lost in theirs lives! :)

Dusty said...


Jen said...

Aw, had we been around we'd have brought the pickuplet over to help ya out! I'm so glad you've named the deer Garnet & Dale. Perfect! It makes me want to sew little hats and outfits for them, but that would definitely be too much.

They're very nice looking deer, too, I have to say. Drop a line if you need campanula seeds! (Perennial!)

It has been a year or so since we've been to an estate sale. It doesn't seem that they're very popular in this part of the country, for whatever reason. They're fun, though. My mood depends on why there is an estate sale happening and who is hosting it, though. The last one was being hosted by the family, and the relative had JUST died. It was rather sad.

The whole kitchen was Harvest Gold, though. I kid you not!

alix said...

i loooooove your deer (and the name Marlene DEERtrich is genius!! YAY!) but I'm 1000% in love with that portrait of Dale and Garnet!!!!!! Wow wow wow!!!!!!

My friends live in a cool retro neighborhood in Walnut Creek and one of their neighbors has the most amazing portrait ON THEIR FRONT DOOR. It's a painting of the whole family standing at the front door smiling and welcoming you if the door was open. (Like, that's what is painted on the door, if ti makes sense) You would love it!


Kitsch and Curious said...

No, there are no estate sales here in the UK. Either the family clears stuff out, and probably gives most of it to a charity shop (thrift store), or a dealer would do it. They call it 'House Clearance'. They would probably sell at a car boot sale, if it was just average stuff.

At first, the idea of an estate sale seems pretty weird to me. How could you bear to be there while strangers go through your deceased relative's stuff? But thinking about it, maybe it's better to personalise it. It's nice to know that things are going to a good home.

Thinking about it, we don't have yard sales, either. I guess people here don't like selling things in their own home (and it rains all the time!). I suppose in the past, people donated old stuff to jumble sales, now they take it to car boot sales.

Hmm.. I might write a thesis on cultural differences in secondhand selling....

Eartha Kitsch said...

Barbara: Really? Oh yes! We’ve got to find you some deer! Really? I’ve always imagined California as being where all of the cool stuff goes! Oh, and must go thrifting and estate sale-ing in the Southeast. The MidWest is amazing! When we go there to visit the Mister’s family, I’m awe-struck.

Alexandra Bitchford: Oh cool! Your own ghost! He must have really loved that home. I bet he loves the care that you are taking too. 9:20 - fascinating! I’m glad that you let the kids in to see the house. I know that it must have meant a lot to them as did you giving the son that sign. I love that you got all of that stuff with the house. Without kids, I often think the same thing - strangers will be rifling through this stuff. I don’t mind though as I’ve done a good deal of time rifling as well. : ) And ha! You tell Mr. Pruitt that you’ll meet him there - as long as Mrs. Pruitt doesn’t mind!

Monica: You and I would make a good misty eyed estate sale pair! : )

Dusty: Thank you, dahling! : D

Jen: You KNOW that I’d be all over deer outfits. “Too much”? What is this “too much” that you speak of? : ) I might just need seeds next Spring. I’ll look you up if so!
It’s interesting that estate sales are more common in some others than others. I’d never considered that all areas aren’t ripe with them. Wow, you know...some of them ARE sad. We went to one recently where one of the daughters (I’m guessing) was weeping and being consoled in the living room. It was really sad and uncomfortable. Ooh! Harvest Gold!

strawberry lemonade: Thanks! I love naming things! A painting on the front door? I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see that. That is just about the coolest front door idea ever.

Kitsch and Curious Elaine: Wow, that blows my mind. I wish that you could go to some estate sales. It’s an interesting experience, to say the least. A lot of times, the family will do it but the majority of the time, they hire a service and give the service a portion of the proceeds. I don’t believe that I’d be able to be at a loved one’s estate sale either. It would be just too much. That sounds like an interesting thesis idea! I’m ridiculously fascinated after reading your comment!