The Best yard Sales …

… are well-organized street sales held a block from your house, hosted by lovely people who are happy to share the histories of your new treasures, and hold for later pick-up the larger items you cannot quite manage to strap onto your bike.

This morning I biked out early, and arrived at a nearby street sale just in time to snag this printer’s drawer for ten bucks. I have wanted a printer’s drawer for years, but have always balked at the prices these things usually go for. Now, of course, I want a complete letterpress cabinet.

This item will soon be mounted on a wall somewhere in our home, but before it goes up I am thinking about manufacturing a hinged door for it with a plexiglass front, just to keep the need for dusting to a minimum.

Another fun find was this antique concert harp or autoharp, also for ten bucks. It was manufactured by the Radio Concert Harp Company of America in the 1920s. It is missing part of its mute block, but the woman who sold it to me, a harpist [harpy? If I was a professional harpist, I would absolutely refer to myself as a harpy.], was kind enough to show me how to turn the instrument. What will we do with this? I have no idea, but I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and love the sound of its strings.

I also bought this excellent old wooden tool box, pictured above. It’s quite large: about 36 inches long. I’m not sure whether to use it for seeds and garden tools, or put fasteners in it, or turn it on its end and use it as a shelf. Quite possibly the latter, as the cubbies are large enough to hold small books and other objects trouvé.

The dollhouse in the background was free. It needs some repairs, but is completely seventies-tastic in its décor. I’m planning to fix it up a bit, furnish it with my old dollhouse furniture, and make it available to someone close to me who is living with dementia and might enjoy it. Here (below) is an interior picture. Very cute, complete with curtains and wall art, but that shag carpet has got to go!

My other find of note was this wooden shelf (below) made from reclaimed wood. I paid $7 for it at a different street sale, also in the neighbourhood. I don’t currently have a place in mind for this, but will likely end up in one of the bathrooms.

Phew! One of the things I’ve missed most during pandemic lockdowns was the opportunity to go to garage sales, haunt second hand bookstores, and visit thrift shops. It’s been great to enjoy all these things again.