Estate sales are my passion.

Let me tell you a little story…….

I began going to estate sales solely because I am nosy, and have a “thing” for houses. Most houses store years of energy, can you imagine what happens in a Victorian? Houses fascinate me, and so to avoid getting arrested for stalking, I became an estate sale regular. I don’t need to go early, because my mission is not to buy & resale, but to slink around the houses, enjoy the nooks & crannies, secret passages, etc.  Due to the fact that by the time I get there, there are so many strange humans in a tight spot, I usually did not get much energy sense of the house and its past inhabitants.

That all changed one day when I went to an estate sale early and stood in line with lots of people talking china, furniture, etc. I came early because I had spotted a few slips on the estate sale listing (this is when I was into converting vintage slips into dresses) that I wanted to try and get. I took my children as back up and strategized :).  You must understand, estate sales can be pretty cut throat. People PAY others to get in line for them so they can be the first in. Lots of resellers who buy cheap and resale in their stores. To each their own.

This house was TINY. When we finally got in, I headed straight for the bedroom, but then stopped. In another room, there were tables set up with piles and piles of neatly folded children’s clothing.  Vintage cotton that was clean & pressed, you could tell it was stored with love. Also, piles of tatted lace. Real tatting. If you have ever seen this in action, it is an intricate dance of sticks, needles, and fine thread. And then there were people, ripping through these items like a fury, throwing things on the floor, ripping lace off of items.

I stomped in and began taking things from right under one of the perpetrators, and stuffing them in my bag. When it was filled to the brim, I went to look for my kids. My daughter already had a stack of old photos to show me.

To make a long story short, I bonded with the woman whose items I clutched to my body. I would not find out why until 2 weeks later. That is when I went to the store of the estate sale company (they are one of favorites), and talked to one of the owners. I told her how I had this bag of stuff I will never use, and why I had it.

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Some of Rita’s treasures.

She proceeded to tell me the story of a fabulous woman, who I named Rita, because she looked like a Rita to me. Rita had a sad, but magnificent story. In her pictures, she looked glamorous. She was German. She raised German Shepards. She overcame sickness, and grew up a few houses from her real family, who had to give her up secretly for adoption because they were too poor to raise another child. She was kept indoors or away with aunties, because her parents were afraid the resemblance to her siblings would expose their secret. She was a strong women in our community, and did great things and shared her talents & wealth. Unfortunately, she died and left behind no heirs, so her treasures were fair game.

I am now the owner of some of Rita’s baby clothes, tatted lace, family albums, slips, crock, and
other miscellaneous items such as costume jewelry, buttons, post cards, stationary. Too bad I could not find her sunglasses!! Some of these items have found their to my Witches.

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Everything is saged, washed, and ready ride with the Witches!

Rita’s items catapulted me into a new passion. Find out who these people were. I am not like a history sleuth, when I find quirky houses, I dig in. I have since met a Senator’s wife who was secretly a herb witch,  a man who traveled back and forth to France to learn how to make wine from flowers & herbs, and met his lovely wife while doing it (their naked lady picture hangs in my bathroom!), and lots of other marvelous people. Their items are treasured in our homes, many of them finding a second life here or becoming part of the Kitchen Witches & traveling.

Sometimes, I walk into a house that just emanates sadness & dispair, and I end up turning around and leaving. Even when the houses feel happy, I am cautious. I LOVE these items & their stories.  When we get home, everything is carried in the back yard, and saged, finishing up with a thank you & a blessing for their new lives. Then everything is either washed, soaked, or brushed clean. This is the one rule I have: NOTHING comes in my house uncleared. That is also the one tip I give everyone, remember all these items carry memories & energy, both good & bad. I learned that the hard way. I bought and painted a dresser, and put it in my studio to hold my paints. It was gorgeous, but every time I walked by it, I could feel a weird vibe. And it smelled weird to me. Only to me. After a few weeks, I just cleaned it out and put it on the curb.

I will continue to collect treasures & stories, and hope you enjoy them as I pass them on.
Warmly,
Heike

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