My old routine for estate sales was to grab Thursday's newspaper, circle the sales that looked good, figure how to stagger starting times of sales so I could be among the first inside and still minimize my driving.
If two sales that sounded good started at the same time...I'd just have to read both ads again, consider which estate sale company was conducting the sales and then go with my gut about which sale to go to. Generally my gut is good to me, if I avoid greasy food. (har har...that was a joke.)
But with so many estate sale companies having websites, Facebook pages and email lists, I can almost do away with the newspaper and just go online to make my plan. A great resource for finding estate sales is EstateSales.net. Sign up for their mailing list and they'll email you about upcoming sales near where you live.
Even with all these resources, websites and emails, I only found one really good sale on Friday- but it was worth getting dressed and combing my hair for. Lots of lace, vintage sewing stuff and real vintage DRESDEN. I found a pretty good size box in the basement, mostly borders, but also a few butterflies and leaves- and many of the pieces had an embossed "Made in Germany" right in the silver or gold.
You've probably seen button hooks before. They were meant to help ladies button their high top boots. The hook went in a loop on the shoe and you pulled the loop over these tiny shoe buttons. Very different from the slip on, slip off shoes I wear today.
I found this man's version of a button hook. Men used these studs instead of buttons on a shirt. The stud poked up through a buttonhole and then the hook was used to bring a buttonhole on the opposite side over the stud.
Most studs weren't rhinestone. I've seen celluloid, mother of pearl, and lots that have fraternal society logos, as well as just plain metal. The name on this button stud hook says "The Roman Hatter."
You've heard the stories about someone buying a painting at a thrift shop and finding a copy of the Declaration of Independence under the frame, or buying a piece of pottery at a garage sale and finding out it was unmarked Rookwood valued at thousands of dollars.
I've been lucky enough to have a few "really big finds"- but nothing of that size. My latest was buying a sewing box for $3 and finding this darling little jewelry box- and inside was 14k gold thimble. This is the first time I've ever "struck gold."
This isn't a valuable find, but I got a kick out of it. I bought a pair of vintage drapes. When I got home and took them off the hanger, I found the dry cleaners cardboard ad stapled around the hanger. The slogans made me laugh:
"We do not experiment, we know our stuff."
"A neat appearance is a valuable asset."
Definitely words to remember.