Friday, August 26, 2011


Dear Helen Hartman,
     I used to think I knew what was what but sometimes I find things at sales and flea markets that make me wonder “what is THAT?” . One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all but some people’s treasures are just plain trashy.
            Love to know how to tell the difference.

Dear Loved One,
          This happens to Helen all the time (a sentence often heard in pubs, jail cells and podiums where accolades and medals are being handed out). For example – what the heck is THIS?

The seller said it was for wearing to the beach! What beach? I have seen beach movies and never once saw Gidget or Annette wear something like this! Helen thought maybe a curler cap?

Oh no! You caught me with hair up. At least I had on a touch of make up.
I bought it because it was PINK and pretty and cheap. (Remind you of anyone?) Does there need to be another reason? I submit that there does NOT!

I am NOT bossy. I just have better ideas that everyone else. (My much beloved Aunt Ruth - who had the best ideas EVER!)

 Still, Helen found herself wondering the same thing today at her first Estate Sale in a long while as she crowded into a sweet mid-century ranch with people there looking to buy tools, sheets and used cleaning supplies. I just wanted to shove them aside and tell them to let someone who knew what she was doing have a look. Of course Helen would NEVER do that.  It might tip people off to the great finds they are overlooking!


A handmade school dress gem! What will I do with it? Not a clue but now it’s mine, mine, mine! That means I WIN! Oh and a really cute little bag, makes me want to do my hair in braids!

Are you SURE this is what all the girls are wearing this year? I thought the trend was to weave FEATHERS in your hair, not the whole bird!
Likewise these cool match box covers for down and dirty high stakes poker night at Helen’s. 

Did I say POKER? Oh, ha ha, no, I meant Bridge. Strip Bridge.

 Shocking! The little rhinestone band and glass were just a dollar each! 
And I can't wait to show off my 1950 Christmas pop up book this holiday season. Absolutely pristine and only $2! As was another Better Homes and Garden cookbook.

 The whole event had Helen exhausted. Luckily my new cookbook had quick and easy meals like this:

Canned cheese soup, caraway seeds, sauerkraut and hot dogs, Ugh... I mean YUM! Direct quote you should definitely take to heart for all your cooking occasions: For a special touch slash the frankfurter before putting them a top the sauerkraut.   I feel so special just thinking about this meal, don't YOU? 
 And to think all those other estate sale shoppers left these behind and yet, they were happy with their small appliances and baskets and garden weasels (a medieval looking garden implement that almost smacked Helen in the head in a narrow hallway!). I guess it is true – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But most of those people? There was something else in their eyes, because what they bought was just tacky.  

Oh and if you get a chance - pick up a copy of:

Flea Market Style Magazine.
 Helen is quoted in it. Oh, and it's really cool! 

Like Helen on Facebook!   It's just a matter of good taste, really.


  1. Hehahah You totally reminded me of myself with your "I win I win I win" I swear I say that in my head after leaving a sale with a new gem in my hand. WETHER IT BE.. A GIANT WOOD WALNUT.. or a bright giant sized floral swim suit. There I am.. walking briskly to the vehichle *I win I win I win*
    *Chuckle* Is anyone else in on the contest? Or am I the only one that was told about the game??

    I like your beach hat. (I would have bought it too.)
    The picture of the little girl with the birds is just plain ADORABLE!

  2. You seriously always find the most interesting things. I'm off to scour my issue of Flea Market magazine for your quote. Cool. Very cool.

  3. Take the word of someone who wore those petal-y things back in the day...That was definitely for covering up your brush rollers, and boy-oh-boy, did we ever think we were cute! :)

  4. Coconut - it is winning! One day the world will be ours!

    Kim - thanks, it's just describing my fav antique malls but what a fun surprise.

  5. Dana - tried to find some pink sponge rollers for the shot - no luck. Can't even imagine finding those brush rollers! Never had my hair done with them but they look like they HURT!

  6. I do love that little home made dress You must hang it on the wall orrrrr send it to me lol and I do love it when my blogging friends win.

  7. What a darling blog!!!

    Thanks ever so much for stopping and saying hi. I will certainly be back. You have a new fan!


  8. Dear Helen~
    I love your new look! Vintage leopard is the bomb. Always a treat to stop by.

  9. Hello Helen:
    We are not surprised that style magazines are now hanging on your every word.......we do!! You have such an eye for the unusual and we can only imagine what your house looks like with all your goodies!!

    However, all though we have been known to travel miles for a free lunch or dinner, we are rather alarmed at some of the dishes you feature. Perhaps you should open a 1950s inspired restaurant, you never know it might be the next BIG thing!!

  10. The wieners look great with the blob of parsley. You are such a hoot, adore your new look. My mom wore those brush curlers, poor thing. Her hair is pocker straight so she had to help her perm do its job from week to week. I

  11. You're in print? Fabulous! I knew you were too brilliant not to get recognition.
    Aunt Ruth looked like a right babe. I love that pink cap, if only I didn't have such a monstrously sized head I'd be beating your door down to get at it. x

  12. Thanks Nelly - hanging on the wall is much better than my thought of trying to dress my dog in it!

    Thanka for stopping by Claudia - love your blog right back.

  13. Thanks Holly!

    Am a step ahead of you Jane and Lance, already practicing slashing frankfurters to make each dish extra special!

    Sure - parsley makes it fancy, don't you know? Thanks!

  14. Vix - Aunt Ruth was a psych nurse at L.A.'s County General - not one to be messed with!

  15. Funny! Great post - will look for this issue of Flea Market-my daughter loves the magazine!

  16. Wonderful vintage treasures.

  17. Dear Helen Hartman, Helen make me laugh Thank you. I love the leaf you live on in life!Great perspective. HPS!

  18. Some times they are referred to as 'glamour caps' I love them! Very 1960's covering up a bad hair day. They are snugger than the ones used to go over rollers.
    I just stumbled upon your bog. Fun!!

  19. Thanks Y'all!
    Sunny - the leaf I live on? Love that expression!
    Wow Coedith - a glamour cap! Well, that just ups the whole image of the thing by miles.

  20. Your eye makeup is very special-did Helen teach you how?? *LOL* I seriously do love those matchbox covers though, I'm lately become interested in bridge paraphernalia for some reason- and they look in fab condition too.

  21. Kitty - the matchbooks were still in their case and full of matches. The estate people were clearly horse racing fans. Funny what you learn about people going through what they saved and left behind.

    as to the makeup - that was the way it was done when I was first wishing I could wear the stuff! Then when I got old enough we were doing 'smokey eyes' and shimmering neutral tones - BORING!

  22. I can't wait to get my hands on the favorite. Congratulations.
    Your estate sale skills are the best. Love those little matchboxes, glasses and rhinestones!! I always get such a kick out of old cookbooks. It's a darn good thing they never listed the calorie, sodium, and fat content. I'd could have a heart attack just thinking about it.

  23. Congrats for being in print!!

    Oh I love that pink thingie! I remember seeing them, never had one. But if I see one. I'm going to get it!

  24. Great as always! The stuff you've got here reminds me of our church 'white elephant' sale!


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