The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2009-09-06

Friday, September 11, 2009

Like a Virgin Declutter Blog Hop

Just got home from donating five bags of books and two boxes of kitchenalia to The Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset County for their annual rummage sale (here) and, Swear to Our Lady of the Unholy Mess, I feel like 37 pounds thinner. I don't know what it is about decluttering that makes me feel shiny and new but, no kidding, I'm this close to breaking into the 80's classic, Like a Virgin.

All week I've been going through my things fretting about what I wanted to give away and bagging it and fretting about what I wanted to keep because did I have room?

I spent so much time on each item; worrying, How am I going to feel when I give this away? And ultimately putting it in a bag but feeling like I was bagging up a puppy with big sad eyes and floppy ears. No kidding, all week I felt like I was choosing one sad-eyed puppy over another. And these were things that, I mean I hadn't looked at in years. Why the angst?

So today I got there and everyone was all, Thank you so much for braving this rainy day and, Oh, so many bags! Thanks for your support and it felt good and didn't feel like a puppy bagger anymore. I stopped being all emotional about the 'things'... things I didn't need but someone else might. And certainly things that the VNA needs for their fund-raising efforts.

Once I got home I just felt much lighter and I saw many things I should have added to the bags the first time around. I'm going to declutter all week-end.

I'm going in. Want to join me?

delcutter day

Declutter one thing or a room. Throw out one useless piece of paper...

or a ton of junk. But free yourself of something this week-end!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

When your treasures become clutter...

(A long post but there are lots of pictures of estate sale finds from the middle down)

I just started reading several new blogs and I am already in love with them; The Southern Hospitality, Colorado Lady and The Inspired Room Blogs. All are visually lovely and all are about living better in lovelier spaces, not necessarily for more money. In fact, they find vintage, estate and thrift shop deals and are adept at turning finds into what would be enviable additions to any home.

What I wanted to talk about in this post is something that Melissa at The Inspired Room has been talking about. Nesting.

I've been a whirlwind of frantic energy this week and last. Taking my son to school and saying good-by was... I can't even describe it really. There isn't anything to compare it to and I've been trying to keep busy. Mostly what I want to do is eat. I'm not feeling particular about that. I don't care if I eat salad, or three servings of a healthy dinner or Coco-puffs - I just want to swallow it all. Swallow my feelings I suppose.

Isn't that what an emotional eater does?

I read Melissa's post a few days ago and I thought nesting might be a better way to go than to drown my sorrows in Cheetos. And nesting has some good and lasting benefits while Cheetos? Not so much.

I've been cleaning out, decluttering things I thought I would use and haven't. Things I've known for a long time I should part with and couldn't bring my self to because either the item was too expensive, or someone gave it to me, or maybe I will use it someday... It's the perfect time of year for doing that. Twice a year the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset County has a spectacular rummage sale (see details here).
They describe it as:

This famous Rummage Sale, held every fall and spring at the
Fairgrounds in Far Hills, New Jersey, is New Jersey's largest and oldest.
As a major fundraiser for the VNA, 100% of the proceeds support the
VNA’s programs and enable the VNA to care for those who
are uninsured or under-insured.

If you haven't been before, prepare yourself! Bargains are
everywhere, and the selection, spread out over 75,000 square
feet, is incredible: clothing, appliances, antiques, sporting goods,
furniture, dishes, name it and you'll find it there.

If you aren't local it's still worth a look-see. The traffic and parking is usually terrible but if you are on the train line there is a Far Hills station not far from the fairgrounds. They are at the point of taking donations and I'm going to drive my van over there as soon as it's full and donate, donate donate for charity, to clear my home and to clear my mind.

I've had to make some hard decisions about what to keep. I'm really surprised at the things I will probably be letting go. I have been buying much too much.

I need to learn that just because something is lovely and a good price does not mean I should take it home.

These are some of the things I've had to decide about lately.

Syracuse China Celery Dishes


I found six of them in one place.


Gosh, I love them but why in the world did I need celery dishes?

And speaking of need...

Steam irons. Did I really need steam irons?


No, I have one. An expensive stainless steel one that
I don't use because it involves, ya know...ironing. So I see
these and buy them because one was yellow and the other?


Pink. Who can resist a pink iron?
Well, I totally should have because I didn't use
the one I had and now I don't use the three I have.

Already listed on eBay actually. Sigh.
I'm going to miss the pink one.


I've had this vintage wallet for a while. I got it at an estate sale.
It even has it's sparkly comb and mirror. But really, didn't need that either.

And the button thing...


How many buttons does a person who doesn't sew really need?
These buttons are in the large size pyrex bowl, the BIG one, and it's full.


But look at them?


Even the plastic one's are sparkly...

clear rhinestone 2

And the sparkly ones are mad sparkly..

clear rhinestone

Like jewelry.

blue rhinestone

Or a tiara.

I may have some trouble stopping the button thing.

I guess the upside to buttons is they don't
take up as much room as irons.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I missed Retro Tuesday so...

I'm doing a short and sweet ...

retro wednesday

Until later when I will post more.

When I go through vintage magazines for ads I see a lot of the same ads or different ads for the same products. But I've never seen this one before. It has a few things going for it besides it's uniqueatude.

First, take a look...

celery jello1

Uh-huh, yeah. Celery Jello.

So why is it here on my blog?

1. It tweaks my fascination with horrifying jello concoctions, most of which are horrifying only after you add the bits and bobs. This one starts out that way.

2. It appears that what is suspended in the jello is a chicken leg, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, onions and pecans (which must be itself an odd sensation on eating, dontcha think?). What could be appealing about that melange except the obvious florescent color aspect?

3. The fact that I've never even heard of this and I'm thinking celery jello maybe lasted a week and a half which raised my interest level about a jelloillion percent.

4. And this wasn't the only flavor - Read the text; celery was the least noxious. The other offerings were Seasoned Tomato, Mixed Vegetable and Italian Salad which, Help me, help me, help me....Conjures a sort of Antipasto flavor profile and a visual image kind of like... Um...The gray-brown color of sardines mixed with provolone mixed with pepperoni all jiggling on a plate. Plus it would have to have suspended bits of giardiniera (mixed pickled vegetable), sun-dried tomatoes and olives orbiting each other. I mean, What the...


As to my regular Wednesday Weight Watcher Post, I'm all screwed up this week. My son went off to school yesterday and there are still some details to work out plus I'm pretty verklempt over the whole thing. I don't even know how to describe it. Not having him here. I have no other children and it's ...well, like I said, I'm at a loss at the moment to even describe it.

I will try and get back later after I catch up with what I need to do.

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Wordless Wednesday

miss your face

I miss your face


Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Estate Sale Finds

These kitchen towels were an estate sale find. All were part of an end of the sale - Stuff all you can in a bag and we'll give you a price, type thing. These and many other things cost me $5 that day.

kitchen linens 1

They were trying to move what didn't sell. And there was SO much left. I feel sad when I go to sales advertised as 'Digger's Delights'. It's a great place for amazing finds and I know it's silly, but if you go to sales you know how people can be... rooting through things like crazy! Stepping over each other - and stuff - trying to get to everything first. Tossing to the floor what they consider trash.

Like these beautiful linen towel which must be decades old...


I've come away from these sales with a few promises to myself. First, the things I get for myself I will treasure. And second, anything I can't keep or don't end up needing I will pass along to other people so I don't end up filling my home with stuff.

vintage linens 3

I was going to sell these but I really love them and once I started using them I noticed that they worked much better than anything I'd bought new. New towels aren't absorbent, I already knew that... I guess I didn't really know towels could be until I started using the old ones. Silly me, right?

vintage linens4

This was in the bag too. I don't know if I will keep it or sell it or give it away. But it seemed too lovely to end up in a landfill somewhere.


I don't really know what it is, it's too big for a hankie, too small for
a place mat. But it was lovingly made and deserved a home.


I've done counted cross stitch before and all I can say is, Whoa!


Migraine Alert.

The next thing I found at a charity thrift shop. When I first saw this for five dollars I thought it was Syracuse China. It's a good price although perhaps I could have done better had I found it elsewhere...At charity shops I just pay, they are doing good work. The platter is marked, Jackson Custom China, Falls Creek, PA, USA

green platter back mark

It's large, but I have to find my tape measure to know exactly how large. It could fit a decent sized turkey - Not a Chernobyl-sized bird - but a decent one.

green restaurant ware platter

And the green is just lovely.

green platter

Shiny like it was new

vintage green platter

With a delicacy of design, lacking in a lot of what I see new...

It's in amazing shape. I hear you can put these in the oven? Is that true.

And a second platter, a bit bigger than the first, back marked...

blue platter

Scammell's Trenton China
Barth Equipment (something I can't read)
New York City for
Harry M. Stevens Inc.

Same thrift shop for $10

blue platter

And the pattern is lovely...


I'm not sure how much of this I'm keeping (although probably most). But all of it is worthy of a home.

I'm playing along with Southern Hospitality's
Labor Weekend Sales and Finds.
If you like my post she's linked to tons of them!

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