Monday, June 23, 2008

Garage Sale Beads

On Saturday, as soon as Girl #2 wakes up (whining for nursie, if she's younger, or just stumbling around groggily, if she's older) and joins Girl #1 (already nursing, if she's younger, or still stumbling around groggily, if she's older), I go in and beat my partner around the head with pillows until he, too, wakes up and makes me some &^(*@)(# coffee, already. Then, of course, we hit the road with all the other sleep-deprived parents and their bright-eyed little children for a morning of farmer's market, garage sales, and the YMCA.

This Saturday we walked nice and early over to a garage sale just around the corner from our house. Dishes, Christmas stuff, stuffed animals--yawn. And yet...over by the peony bush, all those organizers and plastic containers and toolboxes and baskets all over the table and on the grass around it--I wonder what's in those? VINTAGE JEWELRY, that's what! But how much are they selling it for, you ask? ONE DOLLAR EACH?!!? "Each" including the huge Ziploc bags full of jewelry, as well as individual necklaces and rings and bracelets.

Commence tunnel vision. I systematically worked my way through every single organizer and plastic container and toolbox and basket. Oh, the awesomeness. Gawdy 70s brooches and beaded necklaces in crayon colors. Chunky 80s plastic geometric beaded jewelry. Native-style dyed-wood beaded chokers and stones set in wrapped wire. Neo-Victorian-style ornate metal bracelets. At some point, Matt wandered over and asked if I was almost done. Without looking up, I told him to give me all his money and take the girls for a bike ride. I'm sure he stiffed me, though, because there was a long pause before he handed me all of twenty bucks. How did he know that there was at least eighty bucks worth of jewelry covetousness in my heart?

In the end, I presented the little old lady who said that she used to collect jewelry but then stuck it all in storage for 20 years with exactly twenty items (a couple of them being the previously-mentioned Ziploc bags crammed with stuff) and handed her exactly twenty dollars. The joy, the joy, the joy in my heart cannot be expressed. Seriously, look what I scored:

Out of the 50+ pieces of jewelry I ended up with, 23 are super-tacky-enough and strung with such beautiful beads that I can de-string them and repurpose the beads in my own work and sell them as recycled supplies through etsy. Look at the awesome wooden beads on this very ugly necklace:
There are also a ton of these 70s-era necklaces with their 70s-color chunky beads. I think these look like Jelly Beans:
These wire-wrapped stone necklaces will be especially cool, I think, unstrung and used a little less, um...exuberantly?
And then there were at least twenty or thirty other pieces that I handed over to the girls for craft projects and dress-up. We already used our newest favorite tool, the hot glue gun, to bling up the shelves over my work desk with some strung-bead swag, and here's what the girls have been doing at least twice a day every day since the garage sale:Little Xsa-Xsas, aren't they? I like how even the kitty has been bedecked.
And amazingly, even with me being kind of about the butchest girl on the planet, I actually found three pieces of jewelry to make my own heart go pitter-pat--a brass chain to wear around my neck, a string of 70s orange beads, and this:

For one dollar! That there is the stuff that legends are made of.

The sweetest finds, though, were a couple of pieces of genuine jewelry for the girls. Just look:

Sydney has the chunky, shiny, marbled beads, and Willow--can you see what I found for Willow? Yep, a delicate silver necklace, just her size, and the pendant is a W. Its whole life, that pendant has just waited for this moment, because it's finally where it was meant to be--nice when you can make destiny happen for only one dollar.

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