I happened upon an estate sale last summer. Estate sales are fascinating to me because it is a view into someone’s life. I am generally fascinated by people, so the addition of a home and vintage items really draws my attention.

My favorite estate sales are from people who have not changed their homes for 30 – 50 years. It is like a time capsule and I love to see what items stayed a part of their lives. I am sure there are antique dealers who arrive looking for that valuable gem they can sell for big money. I am looking for something that tugs at my heart, something that was important to them. It could be a tacky souvenir from their trip to Florida in 1960 or the craft project they completed when it was all the rage in 1965.

At this particular house, there was one item that caught my attention. Although some people may look at this item and see a hideous craft, I looked at it and saw hours of work by a woman who was trying to brighten her home for the holidays. The beads she used are the same beads my great grandmother used when I was a child. I loved the colors. I picked up the item and asked for the price. I was told a dollar. I then had a conversation with the woman at the sale and discovered that the items had been her mother’s. We talked for several minutes as I picked up different items and spoke of its significance in the vintage community. There were paint-by-number paintings that someone painstakingly painted. There were holiday salt & pepper shakers and old plastic floral for Christmas plants and flowers. I loved it all.

The items I bought that day were the blue and green beaded Christmas tree and a pair of Christmas salt and pepper shakers. The woman/daughter who took my money said that she was happy that those items were going to a person who cherished them as much as her mother did.

Over Christmas, every time I looked at those two items decorating my house, I thought of the house, the daughter, and in my mind’s eye, pictured her mother working on her crafts.