Governor’s yard sale
We used to call the neighborhood garage sale annual extravaganza in Chicago’s Ravenswood Manor the Governor’s Yard Sale because Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich lives there and when first elected, socialized and pitched a table of goods to hawk. Now that he’s generally hated for doing *nothing* on the taxpayer’s dime except hand over jobs and $$$ to campaign contributors (allegedly), he’s nowhere to be seen. But the name stuck in my mind because they’re some of the loveliest homes in Chicago and there’s good stuff to be bought. Totally a solid mix of junk for cheap and antiques for relatively cheap.
I was pretty restrained this year. With all the recent fuss of intended nuptials, I’m feeling a little full of stuff and over-crafted — or at least over committed to the crafts I’ve already started. But a few wonderful bargains could not be resisted.
Four dishes printed like fancy cheeses in a round cheese sort of box $1.
Packet of holy cards, mostly feat. O.L. Miss Manners tome (heart her!) for $2. Vintage knitting pattern catalog (free to a good home).
Necklace kit containing 55 freshwater pearls and the hardware to put it together for $.50.
Packages of lovely stationery with scalloped or torn edges, glossy or matte paper, white or rosewood or heart-printed, 6 for $5, and a box of pint-sized Mason jars I’ve been wanting for the dried spices from the bulk bins or the garden, and the hot sauce the Mister likes to make once the pepper plants do their thing.
Portrait in needlepoint of Our Lady of Fatima I’ll use to make a present for my friend and fellow lover of Our Lady, Kelly B.
And this smocked apron, hand sewn by a grandma of the woman who sold it to me for $1. The hand work that went into the tiny tucks and rick-rack edging make me dizzy, since it’s not a ball gown – it’s a utilitarian apron.
How lucky am I to live in the 21st century where crafting is a choice, not a means of survival?
Same lady had a sewing chair for sale – a low cushioned chair with a flip up seat that reveals storage space for mending and darning bits. I left it there since I’ve already dragged home 7 or 8 chairs, and then the Mister always asks, “Why do you want that?” and “Where will it go?” I want it because the ottoman I sit on at my desk (upholstered from a nightstand) isn’t comfortable at all. Might have to knock on the lady’s door and see if she’ll sell it a week later.
See, I totally come from scavenger stock, and some of my earliest memories with my mother’s grandmother involve touring and throwing yard sales with her. The best part of these sales is purging junk from the house that other people can and still will use.
If you come away with a few $$$, it’s even more fun.