Friday, November 7, 2008


"She's having a yard sale tomorrow – fabric, crochet thread, crafts. I thought of you," said Harriet on the phone. "They're starting at 8:00 in the morning."

My curiosity was piqued, and Mike and I had errands in Lewiston anyway, so I made it a point to start my day at Harriet's friend's yard sale. The first thing I picked up was a Coleman "personal" cooler for $5.00. I've told you how important coolers are to my life. But I'm really a person on a mission. Making my way to the fabric and crafts, I found knits, old ties, many old laces and other sewing notions – none of which seem to speak to me the way the cooler did.

"This is a box of various interfacings," the person in charge said to me in a confidential tone. "We're asking $3.00 but I expect if you made us an offer we could come to some agreement." "Wow!" I thought to myself; "I'm not sure I want a box of interfacing." Instead I picked up a yard of eyelet for $1.00. I love eyelet.

"I used to have stuff like this," said a fellow yard saler at my elbow. "Me, too," I replied; "then we moved and I got rid of it." "Same here!" she exclaimed. She wandered her way; I went mine.

A beautifully-finished holiday cross-stitch design caught my eye – just the sort of thing I might make myself. Asking price: $.50. How deflating! Hours of work – a lovely thing – undervalued. My crafting life – all the things I've loved to make – passed through my mind in review. But in the end I didn't buy the lovely wallhanging.

Then I came to a cupboard full of craft books and I knew I'd found my place. "Here – hold these!" I said to Mike as I set to work. A book of afghans, a Christmas wall hanging pattern – and then I saw them: a set of Nancy Zieman books based on her PBS series, "Sewing with Nancy." And the price was so right – three at $.25 and two at $.50. Go figure!

Now, unless you're Aunt Chris, you probably don't even know about Nancy Zieman. I know I didn't until I retired and began to look at some daytime PBS programming. Nancy is a sewing guru who has built up a personal empire based on her sewing expertise, including books and a mail-order store, Nancy's Notions. Last month I ordered one of Nancy's current works, "Pattern Fitting with Confidence," complete with DVD. How much did I pay? Much more than $.50.

Ah! Such is the way of the yard sale.


chris miller said...

Wow--spotting my name made my day. And yes, I have Nancy Zieman books in my sewing room for much more than you just paid. I showed your comment to Dan, and he said, "Hey, with her 30's dress pattern (told him you'd found one) and these new books, she can become the frumpy dress sewing guru of the Camas Prairie!!" Men. Ha! You go girl! (I would have passed by everything but the books, too. How alike we are. :-)

Kathy said...

My frumpy frock is coming along -- just buttonholes and buttons to go. I surely got my wish for an ill-fitting dress! Then I watched Nancy altering a pattern and decided I had to know more. Trouble is -- I just don't seem to need much in the way of clothes.

It was wonderful to hear from you, Chris. I have been thinking of you and wondering what's going on in the workshops at your house. KW