A few years ago my mother-in-law introduced me to the wonderful world of auction houses. I guess I've always pictured auctions as a place where hoity-toity high priced antiques were auctioned off... not anything I would be interested in. Plus I knew these auctioneers called bids so fast that I wouldn't be able to understand what my bid was!
Wow were my eyes opened. It's not all "antique" stuff that goes for an arm and a leg. And I did understand the auctioneer! I have quite a few auctions under my belt now. I've been to ones in IN, IL, and have also attended Amish Auctions (called mud sales) in PA.
The way I see things at auctions is quite different from everyone else there. I don't see box lots of jewelry, I see necklaces that I can cut up and use the beads to make earrings. I don't see stacks of beautiful linens, I see fabric and try to judge if it's going to be enough to make a skirt or tote bag.
Let me tell you about the auction I went to last night. Way over on the far wall (by the old, smelly box lots they always do last) was a white dresser mirror. It's been there for quite a while because if there's no interest they pass over it. I love painting on mirrors or decorating them in some way. No one was interested so I got it for $5.00!
Moving on to my next find. Beside the mirror was an old step stool. The upholstery had water damage to it but I plan on recovering it anyway... another thing I've never attempted but hey how hard can reupholstering be right?! I have strips of blue and white fabric cut for a quilt so I got this brilliant idea to recover this adorable footstool in blue and white fabric as well... bargain bid again... $5.00.
The third great find of the night was this very large hat box. But it wasn't the box I was interested in it was contents of this box. The inside was stuffed with men's ties. "Wow" I thought, "I wonder if I could get this for $5.00 too?!" About a year ago I saw a cute flirty skirt made out of men's ties that I've always wanted to try. And guess what?! Again I only paid $5.00. I live in a very small rural town and I wouldn't call it a cutting edge art metropolis. I did see a few vases that I could have painted or smashed up to make jewelry with but I passed this time.
The fourth item I found was buried under this rusted fake gold Jesus and Mary clock. It was a quilt. I love old quilts. But again I'm not an antique collector so don't care if it has a big rip in it. I love old quilts for the fabric and for the haphazard way they pieced these fabrics together. I have so much more I could say about quilts but I'll save that for another entry. There was a little bit of interest in this quilt though (after I unearthed it for everybody). I found this quilt so I was willing to go pretty high on my bid. Instead of the low bid of $5.00 I ended up paying $16.00 and was thrilled! Most people reading this will be happy to know that I don't cut up old quilts.
But alas no jars of buttons this time at the auction. It was great fun and I found a lot of things that I can't wait to reupholster or paint or sew together.