Thursday, April 22, 2010

Silver, a sale and a cautionary tale

My husband, incredibly enough, has started going to yard sales. He's found several great buys so far, and the latest was this silverplated coffee service he picked up for me last weekend. This is what it looked like before I cleaned it up ...

And this is what it looked like after! Not bad for $7, I thought.

Included in the deal were a few souvenir teaspoons as well, and these I haven't polished yet. They're from Japan, Chicago and Florida. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with them, but I do think it's the start of a fun collection and I'm happy he was keeping an eye out for me but in a thrifty kind of way.

I am, however, still shuddering from the yard sale horror story my mother shared last weekend. She was going to yard sales, looking for a few more things for the new house, when she ran across a sale which was just jam-packed with stuff. My mom said there were bedspreads and flower arrangements and junk galore. She found a vintage Fenton vase (ruffled) for $1. She found a gorgeous vintage pink glass "Gone With the Wind" globe lamp, handpainted with roses, for $5. As she looked around, a woman told her not to miss the garage. Mom said she entered and just stared in amazement. Stacked up to the ceiling were designer bedspreads still in the bag, throw rugs with the tags still on them, sprays of silk flowers with prices attached and much more. There was so much stuff it looked like a warehouse had been unloaded in that residential garage. "I just have to ask," she said to the woman, "do you mind telling me where all this came from?"

"No, no I don't," the woman said. "I don't mind telling you at all. It's our (points to her brother) mother. She is a complete shopaholic and she is going to have to stop. My brother and I are trying to help her keep her house because she quit making her house payments so she could go shopping." The woman went on to explain that after her father's death, her mother started shopping like crazy, buying things in multiples, and shopping as often as she could, just for the fun of it. "Is she here now?" my mom asked. "No. You know where she is? She's out shopping!"

I like shopping for my teawares, but if the garage starts overflowing and we can't pay the mortgage, it's time to quit!


  1. Your finds are lovely. I would use the souvenir spoons in mixed media art. But I, too, would have been disturbed by the shopaholic lady.

  2. Oh my what a story! We have a lady in our town with a very sad, similar story.

    Love the bargain silver set!! Sounds like your hubby is having fun.

  3. Your husband has a good eye too - with both hubby and your Mom looking, you're sure to have lots more great tea finds.

    It is sad when a pleasant everyday activity like shopping becomes a life damaging addiction. I sure hope that lady gets some help.

  4. Beautiful silver! And that is a very sad story. I think our society sometimes looks the other way when people have a shopping addiction, but in some respects it can be just as damaging as drug addiction, especially when it becomes a huge financial drain and starts affecting others.

    Why don't we just make shopping illegal?

    That'll fix the problem right, the same way it does for drug addiction? Then maybe some teenagers will experiment a little bit with shopping, but most will grow out of it.

  5. Your before photo looks like my tarnished set! I need to get busy
    and do some silver polishing!

  6. Wow, what a story! I don't really go to many yard sales, but I love Rummage Sales. I found so many silver pieces there. I do the same thing and shine 'em up. I use them whenever I host a tea at home or an event.

  7. Wow! The silver is beautiful. And I hope all those things find good homes for reuse/first use! Happy Earth Day!

  8. Angela! That tea set is exactly the same thing I found a few years back! It's amazing what a little cleaner can do!
    And the story of Yard sale shopping I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! But I have to tell you I laughed. It was funny, yet so sad and shocking all in one.

  9. Oh my, what a story. How sad for her and her family. What lovely finds your husband came home with.

  10. What a lovely set your husband found.

    I hope the lady's children get her some professional help. Sounds like she needs it.


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