Sunday, August 9, 2009


One of the things I love best about summer - it's porch sale season.

This weekend there were four advertised sales, after the farmer's market and the monthly flea market in the park, and we hit them all. Along with a few unadvertised sales. Most of them weren't selling anything I wanted or needed, but one block had sales at two neighboring houses, and I made out like a bandid at both.

Ik new the first house was a winner when I smelled musty old book smell from the sidewalk. She had tables set out in front and alongside, with boxes underneath. All books $1, with discounts for bulk purchases.

I bulk purchased.

I got a set of 4 palm-sized Jane Austens - Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. The only one missing that I would have liked (since they were a matched set) was Sense & Sensibility. But these are so cute, and my only Jane Austen is a Complete Works of which I can barely hold, much less take on the train.

I got an early 1900s edition of Black Beauty, with color plates, a few other children's books which were unfamiliar but which had fabulous illustrations, and then I hit the mother lode.

1922 editions, complete with color plates, of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Little Men and Jo's Boys. In beautiful condition. I did a little happy dance all over her sidewalk.

My total was $8.

The guy next door didn't have much that attracted me until I dug into a box and came up with these 4 vintage sewing books. For $2. For the lot.

The book called the Make Over Guide was worth the entire day's spending money. I love clothing recycling anyway, and the photos and suggestions in this book are great. Not to mention that it's from 1940 and most of the photos look like stills from old movies!

The last place we stopped was around the corner from where I live, and it turned out to be a house whose irises I admire every year when they bloom. They're an odd rust/gold combination that I've only ever seen in my great grandmom's garden. She called them flags.

I didn't find anything at the sale I wanted, but when I told the homeowner that I admired her irises every year, she said, "Come back later with a trowel and take a handful, I don't mind." I was back in less than a half hour, and the common purple irises and yellow daylilies that I dug out to make room for them were distributed at the homes of 3 starter gardeners on the block over from me. I wonder what they thought when they came home and found bags of plants on their porch?

My mojo seems to be taking the weekend off, so I spent most of yesterday afternoon mucking around in the back garden, trying to wrestle the out-of-control tomatoes into submission, and clearing a new portion of the yard to be planted next year. I dug in a load of compost and I'm thinking about seeding some lettuce or spinach there for fall. Even if I don't get much out of it, the soil will get a workout and the leftovers can decompose there over the winter and the soil will be all the happier for it.

Probably best that I'm not sewing right now because I've scrubbed my hands half a dozen times and they still look grubby.

It is really the only thing I have against sewing: it may make me sweat, it certainly can cause me to swear like a sailor, but I can't get dirty. And sometimes getting dirty is just fun.


J. Christina Huh said...

What luck! I absolutely adore vintage books. : I have two flower making books, one from the 20s and another from the 50s.

Linda L said...

Wow, great books.

Myra said...

I have that makeover guide and it is great, esp how to make kids clothes from worn men's shirts.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Those are some great sewing books you picked up!

Unknown said...

Between the books and the irises, looks like plenty of mojo to me! It's all creativity!

gwensews said...

Nice haul! I'm reading Pride and Prejudice right now, and it's wonderful. Would be even more so if I had a vintage book! Sewing mojo will return.

Connie B said...

Oooh you lucked out! I did hit a great sewing yard sale once, and once got some thread storage boxes, but never good books like those!

McVal said...

Oh! That was so sweet of you to deliver those starter plants around! How thoughtful!
And that book looks way cool!

Rose said...

Sounds like you had a Treasure Weekend with books and irises. Good luck with the Fall garden! Yep, sometimes getting dirty is such fun!!

Meg said...

Ooh, that Little Women edition!!!