vintage = green and Cajun = fun

vintage = green
Cajun = fun

blogging and selling vintage home decor in my 2 online shops:
The Home Repeated by menzo and milkglassandmetal

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Part III - the world's longest yard sale...

So here's the last installment of my and my sister's adventures at the World's Longest Yard Sale.  Read Parts 1 and 2 here and here.

This final part of the story tells all about some of our special finds.  And be forewarned that this post is long.  Way, way long.  : )

I've already talked about my motherlode of Blue Heaven dinnerware in Part 1.  But here's the picture again! 

I must confess....I had never seen Blue Heaven until I came across this set.  I fell instantly in love with its very cool, 50s atomic graphics.  So I bought all 87 pieces of it.  I plan to sell some in my menzocollection online shop in the near future....the pieces I can bear to part with, anyway.

I calculated that charged $694 for the same ones when I bought mine. 

I did not pay $694.   : )     I paid about 20% of that.  Shhhhhh!

On to other fantastic finds of mine!

That's just like the metal dollhouse I had when I was a child of the 70s!  They were all the rage.  I paid $12....which probably isn't much more than what they cost back then!  I've filled it with vintage, plastic doll furniture, of course.  My toddler and I play *house* quite a bit.  So what if it has a few metal prongs that kinda sorta stick out....they won't leave any scratches on him that a bit of Neosporin and a tetanus shot can't cure.  : ) 

And the child's guitar!  I bought that from a dealer for $35, so it cost only a little less than what I would expect to find in an antiques store.  He loves it....and has serenaded me quite a few times since then.

The next item up that is not for sale incredible pair of rooster bowls!!!  Well, they are sans rooster, but who cares.   (No, I didn't pay $10 for the pink one!)

The rooster bowl is probably the item I have searched for the most in the last few years.  And I couldn't find one online because I had nothing to go on other than "rooster bowl." 

The one we had when I was a kid looked exactly like this, except it had a rooster on a weather vane at the bottom of the bowl. My sister couldn't remember it at all, but the image of that bowl was permanently deposited into my memory bank. And I found 2 of them....but no rooster. 

But not to worry - soon after our trip, my sister found one - with the rooster - at her local Goodwill store for......drumroll, please......69 cents!!!

So speaking of bowls.....I found 14 gumbo bowls!  And bought all of them.  Alot of them were $2-4 a bowl, but I did pay $35 for 1 of them....simply because it was only the 2nd one I found and was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find any more.  Silly me. 

Okay, so these are actually called vegetable bowls.  But that's the size every Cajun I know uses to eat gumbo.  And if you've ever had a Cajun-cooked gumbo, you know why!   Chicken and sausage.....or shrimp......or seafood.....or just plain, ol' okra - no other dish in the world can beat it. 

But the gumbo has to be cooked by a Bayou Cajun - man or woman....which means someone who grew up within 30 miles or so of Bayou Lafourche, meandering from Donaldsonville to Grand Isle

I grew up within a 1/2 mile.    Just sayin.....    

Anyway, I've been on a quest for *gumbo bowls* ever since we bought the small house in my hometown that's right next door to the house I grew up in (my previous blog posts here and here).  Now, they couldn't be just any kind of gumbo bowl.  They also had to be what I call *grandma bowls* - the kind that looks like what your grandma would have owned.  And if they had a chip or 2 on the rim....all the better.   I wanted 25 of them total, which I now have for the house.  Not to say that I'll be able to resist buying more, of course, because I really ought to have more of them here in Houston. 

Another special thing I found at the Yard Sale is this complete set of 50s/60s spun aluminum canisters!  I paid $30 for the set, and I'm keeping every single piece.

There's a theme here.....pretty much each of the things I'm showing you duplicates cool things we had in my childhood home. : )   But all I seem to remember of our set of canisters was the cake plate.  I had no idea there were all these pieces also.  I even have a grease pot!

Here's a photo of the 1st set of stuff I bought at the Yard Sale...from the very 1st booth I walked into.     

That little pin dish at the bottom is a duplicate of one I have that once belonged to my great aunt.  Her name was Philom√®ne (a French name meaning *loved one*).

But she was known to everyone in town (and beyond) simply as Maman.   That's a French word for mom.  She never had kids of her own, but she was a mom to all.  And the very, very best of one.  And I was lucky enough to have her in my family, and to grow up right across the street from her.   (What can I say....everyone lives next door to everyone else in small towns!)

So my set like this that I got from Maman has 2 of the pin dishes and a covered box.  It used to sit atop her bedroom dresser, and it now sits atop mine.  These were popular in the 20s and 30s - and included bud vases in this style.  I'm always on the lookout for more of the pin dishes.

And....I wish everyone could grow up with a Maman in their life.  

Now...this pink lamb and this green fish were supposed to be a pink fish.

They were supposed to be this pink fish, which is currently available in OliveVintage's store on Etsy.

Isn't it cool!  I have one just like it - a gift from my sister a few years ago when she came across it at an antiques fair.  And....of course it's one just like the one my mom used to have.  : )   My mom's pink fish was originally bought by my dad in the 50s for his mom on Mother's Day.  After she passed away, it was given back to my dad.  Because it was hollow, it served as our *junk drawer* for years.  None of us remember what happened to it, though.  Mine is proudly and prominently displayed in the center of my dining room buffet.

Anyway....a certain witty nephew of mine (one of my sister's sons) facetiously said that he wanted us to get him a big, pink fish from our trip.  Well, despite our best efforts, we couldn't find a pink fish.

But we did find a pink lamb and a green fish.  And the pink lamb even comes with its own *junk drawer*! 

And he has been the proud owner of both ever since.  And, I might add, he recently acquired a big, blue fish of his own.  His wife has one, and she added it to their combined stuff after their recent marriage.  I think it and the pink fish are fraternal twins.  

So their blue fish and pink lamb and green fish are living together quite contentedly in their new home.  And proudly and prominantly displayed, of course.

So enough about my stuff.  My sister managed to snag this set of genuine D.H. Holmes crab bowls! 

This purchase gave both of us goosebumps. 

Back in the late 70s/early 80s, my sister's sister-in-law gave her a set of 4 of these D.H. Holmes crab bowls.  Since then, 3 of them had broken, so she was down to 1 bowl.  Well, D.H. Holmes was a landmark New Orleans department store that has long since closed.  If you've ever read the novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, you know about meeting your friends and family "under the clock at D.H. Holmes."  The building is now home to a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, so that gives you an idea of the past grandeur of our beloved D.H. Holmes.

Anyway....duplicates of the crab bowls were nowhere to be found since the store's closing.

Except, that is, on the top of Signal Mountain, Tennessee!  Goodness knows how they ended up there.  What was so ironic was that my sister and I were in side-by-side booths at the Firehouse spot on Day 2, and she spotted the crab bowls in her booth at the exact same time I spotted my spun aluminum canisters in my booth.  So she comes to my booth saying, "Come here, come here!" and I was saying, "No, come here, come here!"

And the even more ironic part of this is that we weren't even supposed to be at the Firehouse spot.  That was our last stop the evening of Day 1, and practically all vendors had closed up for the day....except the guy with one of my rooster bowls.  Since we had made very little progress distance-wise that day, we came *thisclose* to skipping the Firehouse spot on the morning of Day 2.  We debated back and forth.  No, let's not.  Yeah, let's go.  No, let's not.  But it looked like a big one.  Okay, let's go.

So yeah, we both had goosebumps that day, to go with my kitchen canisters and her crab bowls.

Have I lost you yet?   Okay, good.  Almost at the end of the post, I promise.  : )

Let's see.   I've already told the story in one of my other posts about our trio of old pitchforks.  And I should also mention that I got a set of 10 of those 50s/60s aluminum glasses for 80 cents a glass....something we also had when I was a kid.  

Then there is the story of "Dunlap, The Duck" - and here's a picture:

He's actually not a duck, but a newly handcarved Canadian Goose.  But Dunlap, The Duck sounds better than Dunlap, The Goose.  It's an alliteration thing.

The owners of the The Wild Goose, "Sis" and her husband, Mason, were at one of our stops at the Yard Sale.  Their work is truly amazing, and they both learned their techniques from Sis's father. 

And the best (and ironic) part of Dunlap's story is that he was carved out of....genuine Louisiana cypress!  Sis and Mason use "sinker logs" - logs that sank underwater years ago in rivers that were used to float logs to sawmills downstream.  Dunlap came out of the Ouachita River in north Louisiana.    

By the way, he is named Dunlap in honor of the small town along the route that we were bound and determined to get to by the end of our trip....and it didn't look at all like that was going to happen toward the end of Day 2, as we had accomplished only about 15 miles in 2 whole days at that point.  But we put on our blinders and drove!  And we made it to Dunlap!  So Dunlap, The Duck, who is proudly and prominently displayed on my sister's foyer table, is a heartwarming reminder of our sister trip and the incredible fun we had.

And here are a few other great items that were for sale along our route (not to mention the handmade goat's milk soap for $2 a bar!)....some pickled goodies and a $12 little, red wagon.

And back in Houston that Sunday night, the little guitar found its permanent home.

I highly recommend that you make the trip, too.  Cross fingers.  : )


  1. Those dishes are all so beautiful, especially the top set!! So awesome that you didn't pay so much for them :)

  2. hi there, I found you in the Etsy forum and I am loving your blog. I love the gumbo bowls!!!! I followed you to come back later and read more. Nice to meet you!
    *also lives in La.

  3. Thanks for reading!

    I'm finding it really hard to part with any of the Blue Heaven dishes. I figure that I can cover several walls of my kitchen with the ones I don't use!

    Yay, another Louisianian! Once I got the idea of having grandma gumbo bowls, I was a woman possessed! : )

  4. Hey, your blue heaven dishes look real good. I have a question. When my grandmother passed away I found an entire blue heaven set. I really love them and would love to keep them and use them. The only thing I have questions about is can they be used in the microwave? Are they safe to eat off? Some of the dishes looks like it has pitting or a tiny rust looking substance on some of the plates which worries me a little. any insight would be helpful thanks!

  5. Laura, just wanted you to know, I found 32 pieces of the D.H. Holmes dishes at an estate sale in Calhoun, LA! I am now downsizing and will not be able to keep them. Having a hard time pricing them, do you have any idea based on what you paid for yours?