Monday, July 16, 2012

Collecting: The Crazy Hat Lady

Our good friend Lauren over at Wearing History hipped us to an estate sale that was taking place close to our digs, so we decided to check it out.  Normally, I'm not a big estate sale guy but if I have learned anything, it is to trust Lauren implicitly; she knows of what she speaks!  

Seriously, estate sales just aren't my usual bag.  I should know better, having seen the brilliant treasures that my blogging pals EarthaLisa, and Rae (be sure to check out their blogs) unearth at these sales.  Don't get me wrong, if I am driving and I see a bright pink poster board duct taped to a telephone pole that reads "Estate Sale," I will more than likely skip my own birthday party to see what is being offered.  I just can't bring myself to do the research.  That, and I am seriously uncompetitive.  The thought of waking up early and standing in line (a horrid pastime) to get a number to be the first to bust down a dead person's door so I can fight for their things just isn't my cup of tea.  I still want their stuff.  I still want to see the inside of their house.  I just don't want to fight about it.  In all honesty, I am more of a swap meet/flea market and thrift store kind of guy - mostly thrift stores, really.  I've told you many times, I'm lazy; I like the idea of merchandise being separated into departments, however loosely defined those departments might be.  I still have to dig but I get to dig with direction in a climate-controlled environment without too much competition from other hoarders.


We ended up getting a pile of stuff for a very reasonable price, but the trophy was this Cuh-razy straw hat.  I like to believe it was some ill-conceived Mother's Day gift that the recipient HAD to wear to church and pretend that she liked all day long.

The best part about the hat is the abundance of stories it tells.
A Hawaiian-style, one-eyed (I prefer to think that she is winking at us),
 lady golfer with pipe cleaner arms, styrofoam head, and yarn smile
is just the beginning. 

Cleaning is a major theme of the brim.
How cool are the miniature cleaning agents and sponge?!

While "Soilax" is a name that should have been lost to the ages,
how could the wearer be anything but CHEER-ful in this custom-
designed chapeau?

You can just make out the sponge mop in the lower, left-hand corner.
I think the clusters of berries and grapes add just the right amount of
freshness and zip to an otherwise work-weary headpiece.

Lest she forget that a mother's work isn't done with just cleaning,
Tru Rise reminds her to put on her thinking cap and get baking!

And what says "Happy Mother's Day" more than a zombie-
eyed, lute-playing, crown-wearing baby chicken.

Oh yeah, there's a sequined peacock too.

Is it an homage to a wonderful mother?  Is it an assemblage to be entered for exhibition at the county fair?  Is it folk art?  Is it a wacky tacky creation of the highest order? Is it possible to be all of the above?  The easiest way to decide is to see it in action!


The crazy hat lady
Mary styled an outfit that included the fish net
over striped-knit sweater (also procured at the estate sale),
 some day-glow orange clam diggers, and that HAT!

I would be hard pressed to think of anything we needed less at our house than a hat covered in a golfing, cleaning, baking, flora and fauna motif, but now we each have one.  Only kidding, it was essentially free, so how could we be expected to leave it behind?  So tell us, are you an avid estate-saler?  Have you found anything cool lately?  Let us know what you're thinking,


Cheers!

Mr. Tiny

27 comments:

  1. I bet it was a special hat made for a Hat Party back in 196o-something. I wonder if it was a "Housewife Longing To Go On Vacation" theme? I have a zillion old party idea books and a Hat Party was really popular back then. Also a Hillbilly Party-everybody apparently wore barrels and blacked out their teeth. Fun!!
    Jenny

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    1. Thanks for the good information. I was totally unaware of 60's hat parties but now I think we have the theme for our next get together!! Hillbilly parties are AWESOME!!!

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    2. Heck, Mr. Tiny, I know all kinds of useless stuff. (I even OWN all kinds of useless stuff!) I can teach you how to run an Ironrite, give you a short history on the history of metal recipe boxes' manufacturers, or even school you on the three best makers of 40s and 50s tablecloths.

      My fella, son and I are moving into the same house this week. My fella is a real hillbilly musician from Virginia (NOT redneck-there IS a difference!), so I am calling our new place Chez Hillbilly! No, we don't own banjos. He doesn't drink anything from a stoneware jug with large X's on it, nor do we have a hound dog. But we sure do love that old 40s and 50s hillbilly music! LOL

      Jenny

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    3. It sounds like we have so much to discuss. Stay tuned for my collection of tablecloths!!!!

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  2. Great hat, you should make a line of them.

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    1. Thanks!! I think you're onto something. Straw hats can be had for a very low cost and decorating them could be very fun!

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  3. OH. My. GOSH. I LURVE that hat! So glad you got it! And I'm totally with you on not digging the competition at estate sales and whatnot. When I spent a short time dealing MCM furn and stuff it was SO stressful trying to be the first person to grab stuff, especially when some of the less scrupulous dealers were in the same place. I'm a lover not a fighter, but that meant they got the good stuff more than I did. That's why I went back to just buying stuff for myself, the stress took the fun out of it!

    You know who would love that hat? Allee Willis! Imagonna post a link to your writup on her FB page!

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    1. Yeah, I am a total wimp when it comes to competing for STUFF! We went late in the day so it wasn't too bad and there were obviously still some gems left. Coincidentally, I just discovered that Allee and I have the same birthday; I see a crazy hat party in our future!!!

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  4. Oh wowwwwwww! That hat is amazing and then some! What a find! That might be one of the rare things that I'd fight someone over at an estate sale. Thanks for the shout-out by the way! : ) My estate sale style is more about arriving an hour or two (or the next day) after it has started and casually walking through. I've got the stature of an Amazon so most times, I can wedge on through if I see something great that hasn't been claimed (though if I get in the floor with my granny knees, it's anyone's game if someone doesn't help me up from under that table). And luckily, most of the time nobody likes what I like. Except for Rae! She and I would probably tackle each other if we saw that hat at an estate sale. : )

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    1. haha, yes. i would fight you for that amazing hat! i can't even describe what i am feeling right now, that is one amazing head piece! i'm super jealous that it wasn't added to my hoard!
      and like eartha says, i'm more of a second day estate sale kind of girl. i've shown up at opening just once, and waiting in line is for the birds. i just have to make sure i beat eartha there. haha.

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    2. Eartha - that's exactly what we did. I was too afraid of hard core estate salers to go early, so we went late in the day. Is it wrong that I would love to see you two in an epic battle for a stuffed poodle??

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    3. Rae - I am fine with taking turns, but I can't tell you how much I HATE waiting in lines. It, most definitely, is for the birds!!! I'm glad to know you guys have a reasonable approach to estate sales AND you still find cool stuff!

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  5. What a funny amzing hat!!!! So jealous....
    I will tell you that estate sales don't exist in FRANCE... only flea markets and thrift stores, that's sometimes a pity because most of the time the children of a person who died don't know what to throw away or keep to sell. Most of the time they get ride of clothes, that's why it's so hard to find vintage clothing here... Moreover they keep most of the time some wood items without any style and get ride of fantastic kitshy plastic 50's things...

    http://lostin1950.blogspot.fr/

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    1. I am shocked that there aren't estate sales in France. It is a shame that so much cool stuff gets discarded!!

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  6. I like Estate sales, but they can be nerve wracking... I mean do you REALLY have to be right on top of me to see the umpteen-thousand used linens? Its like extasy and shame all at once, you're finding treasures but also pillaging someones LIFE! It took a life time for these people to collect these things, and i'll give you no more than $5. LOL But they can be fun, people often give me and the girlfriend strange looks (as we go for the neat old, and border line tacky stuff!) and if nothign else you got to see the inside of a cool house!

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    1. Hahahaha..it is such a weird dynamic. Fortunately, the one we went to was run entirely by an estate sale company so none of the family was there to watch us rifle through their loved one's possessions. I think that is the best part of estate sales - looking through the house!

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  7. HAHAHA! That chicken! It made my day! When you said you found a kooky hat, I admit I underestimated the power of the kooky (not cookie, as cookie's powers are not to be underestimated. Ever).

    And thanks for the shout out! I guess it was just luck- I spotted the preview pics online and *knew* you guys had to check that one out. I wonder why this hat wasn't included in the preview pictures ;)

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    1. HAHAHAHA! We got there late so I am surprised the hat hadn't already been snatched up. As soon as Mary picked it up, all I heard around the house was people asking, "Who got the hat?" Sometimes it is worth the investment just to have something goofy to blog about, isn't it? Thanks!!!

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  8. LOVE IT! It belongs in Puppet Land!

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    1. It DOES belong in the same sphere as Pee Wee and Miss Yvonne!!

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  9. Oh! I love it...so funny and cute, and Mary is the perfect model. Oh, I read on the Facebook this a.m. that my high-school friend Elise is filming her for Wild. I was like, hey, wait,that's Mr. Tiny's sister...I read his blog!

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    1. It is a small world! Mary just took a screen shot from FB and sent it to me!!! Mary is thrilled that she was recognized...hahahaha!!! Thank you so much for following along!

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  10. Hahahaha! Yep, I'm about as competitive as you are. But what a hat!

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    1. Right now I can't think of anything that I would fight someone for. We were at thrift store once and had picked up a vintage crinoline and some lady started accusing me of taking it from her. I just handed it to her and tried not to get my feathers ruffled. As much as I love stuff, it is, after all, just stuff!

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  11. If y'all get on the TLC show and one of you doesn't wear this hat, then I am going to be sorely disappointed!

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