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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Thrill of the Chase at a Church Attic Sale

Last Saturday morning, I was running some errands, and while driving past a church near my house, I saw a big sign out front, "HUGE ATTIC SALE, 7:00- Noon.  Proceeds benefit Haiti."  It wasn't much past 7 a.m. (baby boy rises before the rooster), so I decided to pull in and check it out.  Providence Methodist is a large church- I'd guess they have several thousand members, and the attic sale consisted of donations from church members.  My husband has suggested that we visit before, but I just can't seem to break away from my Calvinist roots.  So although I drive past this church at least twice a day, I had never stepped inside until Saturday.

You never know what you're going to find at a church attic sale.  As I walked towards the door, I felt certain I would be in and out within 5 minutes.  Boy was I wrong.  The Methodists run this sale like a well-oiled machine.  They had every department, from the ladies boutique to bake sale mapped out, charted, and color coded, and everywhere you turned were "guides" to help you find your way (was that a metaphor?).  This was an attic sale on a MASSIVE scale, unlike anything I've ever seen before. 

I wish I had taken more pictures while I was there, but I too caught up in the excitement.  One good thing about a church sale is that everyone is really nice- no pushing, shoving, or elbow-throwing.  And the best part is that everything had been donated by church members, so 100% of the sales proceeds went towards relief efforts in Haiti.  One volunteer told me that the volunteers were allowed to shop the night before the sale, and this pre-sale event raised over $14,000. 

I decided to forgo the clothes, children's items, exercise gear, etc and just head straight for the household goods.  The household section was a huge room (fellowship hall?) full of shelf after shelf stacked with lamps, bookends, fabric by the yard, mirrors and art, lampshades, silver serving pieces, and more china than a department store. And this was just the tip of the iceberg.  This photo I hurriedly sent MoS Washington is not at all indicative of what I found Saturday morning. 

As soon as I walked in, a large brass lamp caught my eye.  It was beautiful, heavy, and etched with chinoiserie scenes on both sides.  I picked it up with one hand, hanging on to my full can of Diet Coke in my other hand (I'm a bit superstitious this way.  If I go digging empty-handed I won't find a thing, but if take a full drink, I'll inevitably find something fabulous and have to throw out my drink in order to carry my treasures to the car).

After the lamp, I then saw a beautiful crystal pineapple with brass leaves and a heavy brass leafy dish.  Time to throw out the Diet Coke and use both hands. 

A brightly colored tin canister caught my eye, with enameled butterflies and flora.  It was marked that it was made in England, so I decided to pick it up.

Then I spotted a small silver revere bowl, a vintage ice bucket with a silver handle, and a brass sailboat.  All of a sudden I could no longer hold everything with my two hands.  It was time to stake out a place to pile my treasures.  A nice volunteer said she would watch over my pile while I continued to dig.  My pulse was racing- this was my idea of a fun Saturday morning.

I headed over to the linens section, which was jam-packed with everything from tables of unfinished needlepoint projects to designer fabrics still on the bolt, to custom swags and jabots, pillows, and cloth napkins by the stack.  I decided on a few sewing notions, beautiful yellow trellis fabric, two vintage crewel pillows, and a fabulous island-y vintage linen hand towel.

Isn't the embroidery so fun?

In the bathroom section I found a fabulous Hollywood Regency gold faux bamboo tray, soap dish, and toothbrush cup.   I think I'll break up the set and use the tray elsewhere in my house.

Then, a crystal powder dish with a monogrammed silver lid and an antique magnifying mirror caught my eye.  They will be perfect in my bathroom!

Back to the silver section, I found a set of iced tea spoons and the most unique toast rack I've ever seen.

Moving on to the kitchen area, I picked up this old decanter (it includes Prohibition-Era language etched on the bottom), a vintage cocktail shaker with a fabulous bakelite handle, and this adorable little lobster bottle opener for my husband who says I never buy him anything when I go dig.

In the garden section I found this pair of green tole bamboo lamps. 

And last but not least was this copper tree frog mailbox for our front porch (also for my husband, who loves frogs).
Knowing that my pile in the corner would probably fill up my backseat, I decided to head home without spending time in the other areas of the sale.  Did I miss out on another vintage Pucci or DVF?  Probably...  But there's always next time!  All in all, that was a great Saturday morning!

17 comments:

Dobbygirl said...

Oh my gosh, such fabulous finds!!!!! Way to go!

Tonia @Chic Modern Vintage said...

WOW, what a haul! ALl of them are great finds, but the brass is beautiful. I have a few of the bamboo brass trays and I love them.

tarheel said...

I live near PUMC too! bet I see you sometimes and don't even know it. Great finds.

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Crazy score! {jeals}

Charlie said...

you found great stuff! I'm still training my eye to notice things like that ;)

good work!

A Tale of Two Sisters
www.nixonsleeves.blogspot.com

Betty said...

I nearly hyperventilated just looking at all your fab finds!! Any chance you'd reveal your total "donation" for all of that?

Julie said...

I am so jealous! What amazing finds. Well done!

Karena said...

Great finds, It is so fun to find such treasures!!

Karena
Art by Karena

Vickie H. said...

Oh my goodness! You were rockin' that sale like nobody's business!!! I am green with envy on the first lamp you scored!!! Thank you for sharing!

Jenn @ Living Luxe for Less said...

Oh my goodness MOS Charlotte you got such great finds at this sale!!! The next time I drive by an estate or church sale there is no way I am going to pass it by! You are such an inspiration.

Love, love everything you found, and I can't wait to see how you incorporate in to your beautiful home. Love the pineapple!!!

Barbara said...

You are a woman after my own heart!! Love your stylish picks!!

Lalla said...

Wow - MOS Charlotte - your eye for great finds is amazing! What great pick ups!!

980SCLAWAG said...

um, wow. that's freaking awesome!! love the lobster bottle opener and froggie mailbox. too cute.

LindsB said...

that looks like the best church sale ever! What amazing finds!

Jazzy Poet said...

I hope you will come to our Methodist Attic Sale May 5th! St. Stephen UMC 6800 Sardis Road. Lots of Treasures...

Jazzy Poet said...

I hope you will consider coming to our Methodist Attic Sale May 5th! It's at St. Stephen UMC, Sardis Road. Lots of treasures...

Jazzy Poet said...

I love church attic sales too! Our Methodist sale is May 5th, hope you can come! St. Stephen UMC on Sardis Rd. in Charlotte.

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