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Garage Sale Signs

Posted on: Monday, November 14, 2011

As you might imagine, the Ruby Rosers go to a lot of garage sales. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. We all have our different neighborhoods. We use Craigslist, smart phone apps, iPads or the back of envelopes for notes. But even with the latest technology, we still rely on signs along the way. Signs are also a great way to find sales that are not on your list.

We have become connoisseurs of signs and are here to offer some tips to would be garage salers.

with flower

This sign is cute, and fairly easy to read. The lettering is large, it is on cardboard or some other stiff material (no flapping in the wind). The flower is eye catching and does not distract from the address. The only thing that could make it better would be an arrow. Thanks, we made it to your sale.

broad & south

This sign, on an old cardboard box, was at the corner of Broad and South Streets in San Luis Obispo. Broad is a 4 lane street with a high speed limit. Even stopped at the corner in the right lane, we could not read your sign. Invest in a big fat pen. Sorry, we could not find your sale!

south & higuera

There were recently two signs at the corner of South and Higuera Streets in SLO. The top sign is bright and painted with black paint, but it is on paper and blowing in the breeze. The bottom sign is big but could have used the paint from the pink sign.

When you are making your signs, remember that we are looking at them while driving, early in the morning, before fully caffeinated. Use big pens (or thick markers) and write the address, time and date--and don't forget arrows. Don’t list items for sale, or other directions. Remember 35 miles per hour!

j & j corner

Good friends of Ruby Rose, Jenny & Joe, recently had a garage sale. And they rocked the signs. This monster sign was at the turn in to their neighborhood.

And at every turn along the way, they posted matching signs with arrows.

j & j post

And lastly, please please please take down your signs once your sale is over. Otherwise we might be knocking on your door next Saturday at 7 am.

Guest Post by Kim: Holiday Baking with the Grandmas

Posted on: Sunday, November 13, 2011

One of my favorite childhood memories revolves around holiday cooking and baking with the grandmas. Each grandma had her specialty, grandma C's was fudge and cookies and Grandma M's was breads.


Next year I will be a grandma and am looking forward to the day when I can bake with my grandchild. I uncovered a fun little cookbook for children we used when I was little. I remember the fudge sauce because we had it with ice-cream. Grandma C thought it was too runny so she added Karo to the recipe.

Recently Updated

We made the uncooked fudge, but I was just noticing that you need to melt the chocolate over boiling how is that not cooked?! It was easy to make and I thought it was good at the time (especially since I made it), but it didn't compare to Grandma C's fudge, so we never made it again.

Hope you are able take some time to make memories with your family and friends during the upcoming holidays. Especially the little ones. --K.

The Weekly Six

Posted on: Friday, November 11, 2011

This week's six items were all found from our recent 17-hour road trip. The funny part is that we were only two hours away! Yes, we are proud of the fact that we can "shop til' we drop", or for the most part, "shop til' they kick us out"!

1. For this surf cowboy look, we bought a pair of these mid century end tables and this lamp with a great combo of colors on the ukelele. Love the whip stitch shade with it.

2. Don't feel blue, flow blue! Just in time for Thanksgiving, we have a beautiful "hotel silver" platter + cover to house your turkey. It won't matter if it's overcooked 'cause it will look so pretty!

3. Continuing our love of the mexican cowboy, we have more art and textiles.

4. It was love at first sight! A hand-painted card table that adjusts to two heights, and metal legs to boot!

5. An SJP pleated blush dress, topped with an ABS tuxedo jacket. This jacket is a savvy alternative for the holiday season!

6. Jewels, a girls second best friend! We have been wanting to develop this category for some time, and we are off to a stunning start.

Guest Post by Stacy: It Is What It Isn't.

Posted on: Wednesday, November 9, 2011

There is an old (bad) joke or maybe it's a movie line. Anyways, it goes like this: The man asks the call girl, "What's your name?" and she asks replies with a question..."What do you want it to be?".

Junk is kind of like that. Just because a piece was something or served a certain purpose, it doesn’t mean it cannot be something else.


Recently The Weekly Six featured the stack o' luggage at Ruby Rose. They are some gorgeous pieces. People have been stacking them for night stands and coffee tables. I have two under my tv table to hold the DVD player--and they are great for storage too.


I inherited a collection of teapots from a family friend and a love of tea time from my Mom. I like to mix it up and use some of my glass laboratory beakers to serve cream and sugar. They are also great for condiments at a picnic.


Last year at about this time Hillary made succulent gardens. I still have mine, which was made in an old baking tin. I have a collection of baking and kitchen things and love that this was rescued from the trash and repurposed. It loves the light on my kitchen table.


I love the lettering on this galvanized bucket. I didn’t have a use for it but it was a deal (duh, I bought it at Ruby Rose) and it came home with me. I tried putting it in several places before I decided it needed to be the trash can by my desk. I don’t know what it was originally, but I really like it here.

tater n tot

After my last living room re-decoration I realized that I didn’t have a place to put my keys. If I don’t walk in the door and put them in their place they can be missing for days. I was searching for a little table or something when I came across this vintage bird bath at Alameda. I knew instantly that is was what I needed. It's a great addition to the room and so much more fun than a side table.

Be creative. If you love a piece, don’t worry what it was or what it is supposed to be. Embrace it and find a way to make it work for you!

It would be great if we could come to all of your homes and see what you do with your Ruby Rose finds! What is your favorite repurposed piece? What comments/compliments have you received on your creativity?

It's Radiculous!

Posted on: Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A few of us at The Rose have a love for the 70's. Recently and without a plan, Kathy and I discovered that we both found and brought in a variety of flashback items.


How bitchin' is that!

I remember begging for the Chemin de Fer hip huggers and the cool ski jacket. There was no need to see the snow, you just had to have the jacket. Desert boots, Wallabee's, and music, were essentials.


This week, we rocked the striped pants with the gromet rings, the tiger flares, and the embroidered mom jeans.


I think it was '79 that I started my career at Contempo Casuals.

This was probably where the love of trends and retail started.


Rock on!

Posted on: Thursday, October 27, 2011

We are consistently blown away by the style and talent of our customers and visitors. We will occasionally hear that they will come in to be inspired or to find a component for a project, but really, we are the ones that are in awe!

This is Kyle and when he pulled up in this vintage 'stang which turns out, this was his very first car. We begged for a picture and he obliged.


Thanks Kyle.

The Weekly Six

Posted on: Monday, October 24, 2011

1. A beautiful writing desk with a cream patina, paired with a stunning french louis chair.

How about a hand written letter instead of an email?


2. Our sacred space.


3. Parisian style iron chairs in a perfect faded shade of turquoise

--a setting that awaits a warm latte on a fall day.




4. It's a season for layers. Elegant little dresses with chunky cable knit sweaters.

5. A pair of tufted celedon velvet side chairs. With these lovelies, you could be queen everyday!


6. Love these for a DIY project or simply for their archetectual beauty.



Guest Post by Stacy

Confession time. My name is Stacy and I am the daughter of junkers. Every weekend we were on the road to a flea market, swap meet, antique car show, or some other event where junking was also possible.

My Mom collected California Indian baskets, Navajo rugs and blankets, and pueblo pottery. My Dad collected everything else. Seriously everything. Peddle cars, Buddy L trucks, Ford trucks and cars, slot machines, gas pump heads, enamel advertising signs, black powder rifles, pocket watches with steam trains on the back, and on and on.


When I moved away to college I didn’t take the junking bug with me, or maybe it was just dormant. I collected floaty pens and books from the art museums that I visited, but not much else. I didn’t really decorate with antiques until I started receiving things from my great grandmother and my grandparents. But still much of that went in to boxes in the garage.

I hung my grandmother’s turkey platter, The Barnyard King. And I love having my great grandmother’s autograph book. The family treasures made me start to appreciate the trips we took, the people we met and the esoteric knowledge that was still lodged in my brain.

barnyard king

My French-made Turkish-style rug was nice but did not compliment my 1930’s Jo Mora Cowboys and Indians prints (from my grandparents garage). I was visiting Mom and asked if she still had the Navajo rugs rolled up in the basement and if she didn’t mind I’d like one for my floor. She had started collecting in the late 1950s and by the early ’90s she was ready to move on. She said I couldn’t have just one, I had to take all that were left. Several trips up and down the basement stairs and the backseat of by vintage Prius was filled with rugs wrapped in brown paper.

Last Sunday after Stephanie and I returned from the Sunset swap meet and our trip to Sally Loo’s I decided to unwrap the rugs and see if there was one I might want in the house. But I wanted all twenty five! Every one I unwrapped was my new favorite.

I narrowed it down to eight on the living room floor and one on a chair. And one in the hall and two in my bedroom. Each one is a work of art and I was having trouble with the idea of walking on them. But Mom said they a made for using and can’t be enjoyed while rolled in brown paper. So I will use them and enjoy.


I’m sure my brother and I complained about our travels. We wanted a ‘normal’ house with ‘normal ‘furniture from ‘normal’ stores. And maybe even ‘normal’ parents. We were crazy. Thanks for the travels and priceless times Mom and Dad. Now every time I open my front door I remember another junking adventure.

Aunt Fran's Divinity Fudge by Kim

Posted on: Saturday, October 22, 2011

(image source)

Fall brings more than just pumpkins and's the beginning of sweet season.

My great aunt Fran (who happened to be diabetic) used to make the best divinity fudge. Not sure how she pulled that off, but I was always delighted to eat the results. She and my grandma would pack it into large round tins with layers of wax paper in between. It's a happy memory when I think of hearing the sound of the tin lid being pried off, the rustle of the wax paper, and the delighted smiles as we all got to pick a piece of the coveted divinity. This probably explains my fondness for vintage tins.

Aunt Fran's Divinity Fudge

21/2 cups sugar
1 cup Karo.
3/4 cup water

Bring to a boil, 250 degrees on a candy thermometer, until it makes a firm ball (not brittle).

Beat 2 eggs until stiff.
Slowly stream sugar mixture into egg whites while beating on high speed.
The candy will begin to lose it's shine (about 10-15 minutes).

Quickly fold in:
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (Fran used pecans)

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper

Just remember to never make this on a rainy day...

Remodel episode #1

Posted on: Thursday, October 20, 2011

About a year ago, we decided to break ground on a longtime dream of ours--an attic room. The original square footage of the attic was 945 sq. feet. For a junker and dreamer, this had been a long 12 years in coming!


Because we had such a long time dreaming about this said attic room, we really didn't have that craziness that a lot of couples have during reconstruction. It helped that we were able to talk about the new addition on a frequent basis, pull pictures out of magazines for inspiration, and spend a year with an architect that we trusted with our vision.


However, there were a few things that I was adamant about (deal breakers!). The first being wood casement windows (the retro kind) to match our 1920's house. We searched high and low for them, and when it was all said and done, we found the perfect ones by Marvin. These windows were probably one of the biggest expenses, but we don't regret it--they are perfect!


Ok, here's where the story gets good. The second thing we wanted was a stairway wide enough to bring up any furniture that we fell in love with. We couldn't make it too wide, as we didnt want to loose floor space, but it had to be wide enough. Fast forward to moving days....


John: So what couch did you want upstairs?

Me: The white one.

John: I don't know, that couch is long and it's a tight corner...

(Let me just say here, the roof had just been completed and we had recieved our final inspection.)

Me: Well, maybe we could crane it in and patch the roof.

John: I don't think that's going to happen! I will ask the guys to help tomorrow.

The next morning, I woke up to find John taking about 6 inches off our wall to make the corner. I then go to work. The phone rings at work...

John: OK, it's not going to work, it won't make the corner. We tried, how's about the brown couch?

Me: The brown one is not going to work. We now have three choices--the crane, you buy us a new couch in a shorter version, or you cut the couch in half and re-assemble it.

John: Let me call you back, I'll see what I can do.

Ring ring (about an hour or two later)!

John: OK, no problem, the couch is upstairs.

Me: What?! It made it up?!

John: Yep, I cut it in half and re-assembled it! You can't even tell!


I got home that day and couldn't wait to see if he really did it...and yes, he did! He was right, you couldn't even tell! John said he figured he would try, because the other two options were going to cost him!

We are now upstairs and there is still more that we will time. But for now, it is perfect! Our perfect.

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