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My First Estate Sale

I like incorporating vintage and repurposed materials into my work when I can. Vintage fabrics from clothing and linens make lovely pillows, wallets, and wristlets. And vintage jewelry makes for lovely embellishments. So of course I have been interested in attending an estate sale to see what I could find. But having never been to one, I was a bit intimidated. What’s this about numbers? How is it different than a garage sale? Fortunately, my friend Amanda of Yellow Dragonfly Designs is an estate sale pro, and she was kind enough to take me to one this morning.

The place was packed with people and things, and was a bit overwhelming! It was also evident that this person was a collector of mushrooms and craft supplies, which was plenty to make me happy. I came away with a great assortment of vintage buttons. These are some my favorites:

Vintage Buttons

The buttons on the right are labeled “Montana Wild Flowers” and appear to be dried flowers encased in resin. I love them!

Montana Wild Flowers Button

I also brought home this charming little jewelry set. A necklace, earrings, and brooch, which all fit together in a tiny little box. How cute is this?

While I enjoyed the “treasure hunt” aspect of the estate sale, I also wondered about the person who had lived in that home and collected those things over the course of a lifetime. And I wondered what it would be like to have strangers hunting through my treasures after I’m gone, and how that would feel for my family. Some of the people I saw at the sale were talking as if they knew the woman who had lived there, and I imagine it would be a rather surreal experience to go to an estate sale of someone I had known and loved. But maybe these are just the thoughts of an estate sale novice. What do you think?

7 thoughts on “My First Estate Sale

  1. I think you are being very sensitive. I would be doing the same thing. I remember a number of such sales in Odell, altho I wouldn’t call them Estate Sales, and they were left over junk sales after the family was done picking over things. To me Estate sales would be from the big fancy house on the hill, where the well to do lived forever.. but what do I know! ha. I’ve seen neighbors of women who have dies, picking over things, just to see what they missed seeing in years before. Not there to buy and contribute to the funds they needed to make. Just to gawk……I hated it, and we daughters and Mom didn’t want one after her death. Especially Mom. BUT Brother decided he wanted to have the sale. It was junk, plastic butter tub stuff…and some from another family. We daughters were very upset that people would think it was Mom’s.
    Joke was, the expenses of the hall, auctioneers, and bank people to keep the book keeping far exceeded the income. And for WHAT???? I want my stuff to go to family, or a big yard sale…somewhere…. not under my neighbors noses.

  2. you certainly came away with some lovely finds…i can imagine it would be surreal to attend an estate sale of someone i knew..however i am sure these finds will be put to good creative use!

  3. I love those buttons!

    I’ve only been to one estate sale, and it definitely felt a little odd and a little sad. I suppose the person who had owned everything previously would probably be very happy to see others fall in love with, or at least find a use for, their old things, but it does feel a bit weird to pick through it all.

  4. […] visuals when i have something i want to talk about…like the estate sale i took shannon of anodyne design to this last weekend. (click link to read her version of our […]

  5. I have a sweet spot for unique buttons. great finds!

  6. Oh, those flowered buttons really caught my eye! I love how they are captured forever…

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