Monday, May 23, 2011

But Helen Loves to Rock and Roll, A Hot Deal Makes Her Lose Control

Dear Helen Hartman,
    I love Dancing with the Stars. You seem like someone who takes pride in always being on your toes – what dance would YOU earn a perfect score in?

Dear Loves to Dance,
  Helen is tempted to say The Fandango but she is so inept at the art that she usually ends up making the “C” backwards when doing the Y.M.C.A., wreaking havoc and knocking other people smack on their A's! 
If you want to know the dance of the artful deal? Now you are talking Helen’s language.
Amazing Estate Sale finds this weekend… Sale 1: The Quick Step
Scarves and clocks and tins and souvenir grapefruit spoons, oh my!
The home itself was worth the salmon swimming upstream experience of fighting the crowds to get inside. Mid Century Modern Nirvana – complete with antiqued brass pagoda cabinet handles on bleached cabinets with glass insets etched with bamboo pattern, PINK clothes dryer, blonde modern furniture, pale brick fireplaces – light fixtures that were works of art (I asked about taking photos and was told I had to come back the next day but was out of town then so…) Got inside an hour into the sale, so I wish I’d been faster on my feet.
Sparkly bracelets, three-quarter length gloves, and decorative gloves
1972  minty Ladies Who Lunch cookbook- I instantly adore the former owner.
I waltzed through what can only be described as the home of an elegant hoarder. 

Cookbooks to matchbooks. Gloves for every occasion. LOTS of Bible study guides and one framed portrait of a lady with a two-story bee-hive. You know the sayin’ – The higher the hair, the closer to God!
A recipe box with a clipping from March 1940 and an 'ethnic' recipe called custard thumbprints!

I sincerely hope she has found her reward. I certainly enjoyed visiting her house. Can’t wait to share more – especically the magazines – most there were from the 80s and I let them go but snagged a few early 70s that look like she laid them out on the coffee table last week! 

I can't wait to see what helpful advice for life, fashion, home awaits inside. 

Sale Two: Freestyle
Helen doesn't want to seem to be bragging, but YES (doing the superior dance ala the church lady), It WORKS!!
And I mean FREE – 
bought the lovely phone for $3 (so well cared for it has the sticker saying it was put in service 12-31-83) and they gave me this guidebook! Rest assured it will be a font of information in the future!  
Expect to learn such things as:                     
But it's the things they DON'T Say that tell the real story:
Thank you. (And by that I mean Thanks so much for wasting my time complaining why so many strangers have your precious unlisted number when you should be spending your time scrubbing your name off dive bar bathrooms, Miss push-button slim line! 
"May I help you?" Meaning May I  help you get off your executive assets and learn to look up phone numbers yourself, didn't they teach you the alaphabet song in tht fancy college Daddy's money got you into?
 "Here is your party"  Meaning I can't wait until June 3 for Helen's link party, I am SOOO linking up my Smooth Operators website where I dish on all the good phone company gossip!

As I walked through these estate sales, I kept thinking - is this what my kids will go through with all my stuff? Ya know, maybe. And that's okay. My thoughts turn to Nate Burkus, a cutie pie and decorator who loves vintage who said on his show recently that he loves stuff because of how it makes us feel and how it brings a sense of connectedness to our past and each other.
I have a warm feeling now for the people who used this phone (they were there, btw, at their mom's home watching who bought each piece) and the elegant hoarder with the high holy hair. To still make friends after you are gone seems a nice testament to the kind of person you were and that ain't bad.


  1. wow you got some great stuff, love the gloves. Looking forward to the pearls of wisdom from the 'Careers' book. Scarlett x

  2. Sounds like an interesting visit! I'd like to see the 'ethnic' recipe:@)

  3. Oh Ms Hartman I want me one of those phones! And for three bucks! Are you kidding me!
    I would so love to see some interiors of that mid century modern if you've got's my most favourite style of architecture

  4. I love your blog!! And your love for the vintage. Me too! I never had a Slim Line phone but they sure were the rage, weren't they?
    I have only been to a couple of estate sales. I knew the people who owned the items of one. It is an interesting feeling to think about the use of the items being sold.
    A friend of mine was told by her son when she was trying to clear out "stuff", "Mom, you might as well get rid of it because when you're gone... it's ALL going!" Ugh!! It does put a different spin on guildelines for what are important to keep. :-(
    Have a great week!
    Ladybug Creek

  5. Please, please, please share some of the "ladies Who Lunch" book with us. What a fabulous woman that lady must have been, that phone is gorgeous, I love old Family Circle magazines and I need to know more about the pink clothes dryer! xxx

  6. Wow ~ great treasures! Love, Love, Love vintage ;-) It makes me smile

  7. it is amazing what people keep! But hey! we are the lucky ones scooping it all up!

  8. Somehow, "elegant hoarder" doesn't sound like a bad thing at all! Your Princess phone is lovely. I have one too, and although I love it, it makes it really hard to multitask. That cord doesn't stretch very far!

  9. Hello Helen:
    What an absolute treasure trove of goodies. We know that we should have loved to have been with you and would, without doubt, have been spoiled for choice in knowing what to buy.

    As you say, everything was in such pristine condition and that, for us, makes it much more desirable. The magazines could have been read yesterday and how they managed to keep the telephone wire from being all tangled up we have no idea. Our telephones ended up in a terrible state.

    Yes, please, more from the 'Ladies who Lunch'. Such a delicious title!

  10. Oh man I choked on my oatmeal which isn't fun because I had nutty peanut butter in it too. I think I might have lodged something that I'll have to work out for the next day. BUT you got to keep that guidebook, do posts on it, make it monthly (weekly?). It's priceless!

  11. Oh, my, that turquoise phone is divine!!! Can't wait to see what interesting career paths you uncover in the Southern Bell book!!!

  12. "the higher the hair, the closer to God"....roflmbo....too funny.

  13. I think I had one of those high holy hairstyles at one time. But I'm from Texas. It's allowed. (In truth, it's a testament to my good taste that I don't still wear it that way. Many do.) :)

  14. Thanks ya'll for visiting. Sounds like the Ladies Who Lunch are a hit!
    Jane and Lance the key to this phone's condition is probably that someone there was a long time phone company employee. I suspect they did not tolerate tomfoolery with the telephone cords!

  15. oohhh you did so well ;-)) I love the old family circle magazines they really are such a great read. And i so agree with you on these words (that he loves stuff because of how it makes us feel and how it brings a sense of connectedness to our past and each other.)I could not have said it better myself ;-)) dee x

  16. dee - have to love a designer who loves vintage instead of bare with pops of color that have no bearing on the home owners personality.

  17. I always look forward to your acquisitions. You always find the BEST stuff.

  18. What an interesting sale. Love the way you put that about being a nice testament to leave. I'm thinking you must be a writer or something. :) Sounds like you will leave a happy and fun legacy.

  19. Oh, Karen, I have quite the surprises for my family - a massive collection of pyrex apples. I buy them every time I find them for $5 or so. Am thinking it will drive them nuts trying to figure out why I had so many. Bwahahahaha.


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