Monday, October 15, 2012

I think, we are crazy. / School corp auction

Saturday, there was a huge auction in the town which is for selling public schools' old furniture and equipments. My husband and I were pretty much excited when we got to the warehouse where the auction took place. It was HUGE. There are so many cool stuff that would be called "Vintage" on the market. If you are not interested in admiring old and used things, it would look like tons of refuses to you. To some people, including us, it looks like a mountain of treasures. There were so many junk lovers at the auction as you can see in the photo below.

Many things are nostalgic to us since we spent school days in early 70's through 80's. Some of items in the auction are not familiar to me (I graduated all schools in Japan) but my husband knows almost everything. Those goods reminded us lots of good and bad memories in our schooldays.

Colorful steel lockers. I love to have some. If I had a space to place them!

We wanted a piano for Nina. But we were too slow to bid it off. You need some skills to get what you want at auctions. My goodness, pianos were bid off at $20 each!

Since it was a school auction, there were lots of sewing machines. I guess I saw at least 40 machines in the section. My eyes got caught by these JANOME machines. They looked relatively new. Pretty sure they are newer than my old Singer machine. I hoped there were some dress forms but there were none of them. A dress form is on top of my wish list for many years. Well, I'll wait for a dress makers' auction being held in the town someday ;-p)

A couple hundreds of class room chairs. Some of them look so mid-century. Love the colors and style.

Look at this incredible printers table! Quality!

I really wanted some old stools. But I had to give it up because they were sold in bulk. I wanted a couple. So I didn't get any.

Doors. Heavy solid doors.

The poster on a steel locker. This one must have been in a workshop.

You must been wondering about the title of this post "I think, we are crazy." Why do I think we are crazy? The answer is in this photo. I mentioned it before that I didn't get any stools because of they were sold in bulk. And later.......maybe about one hour later......
We purchased 22 wooden (with vinyl back) old school chairs! Yes TWENTY TWO of them! We just couldn't resist getting them. I love the colors of the vinyl backs. The vinyl covers are stuck in the back with metal studs. They are all in pretty good condition. If we give some good maintenance to them, they would shine as stylish vintage accessories.

We both have lived in Tokyo for many years. There were cool vintage furniture stores along the avenue close to our apartment. These chairs would attract customers of those stores' so much. I can't wait to have some of them in my house. (We already have so many chairs in the house, though....) We carried all of them to our truck in drizzling rain. We don't have room to store them in our garage right now. So we took the chairs to the garage of a house we are renting.

Do you agree that we are a crazy couple? No? OK, there is a continuance.

We got these EIGHT SEWING MACHINES (and one steel cart), too! This time, I can see many of your jaws are dropped in my mind. OK, I have been wanting a spare machine which I can attach a low shank darning foot (and some other presser feet). Then we found these quality Janome machines in bulk. And they were SO INEXPENSIVE! It comes with the cart which I think it will be nice to have for storing my products in my workroom (I just finished re-organizing my studio). Is that a good reason for my purchase? Well, after we bad off the machines, there came a lady who wanted three of them so we sold three to her. And a while later she was still wavering if she wants a couple more so I gave her two for free. Because they looked imperfect and the maker was not what I wanted. (Of course in assent. ) Finally I got three machines and a cart, (watch your jaw, Ladies!) It was $25 TOTAL.

This is one of the machines I got. Unfortunately One of them has a problem feeding fabric correctly. But it seems simple to repair if you had a good repair shop. I am glad we got three. We hope another one to be a gift to someone after some maintenance.

My husband just came home from work five minutes ago. And he went to the garage where we store the 22 old chairs to get some of them. He said he is going to start refinishing them from today! He seemed happy when he said that to me. I think refinishing furniture is one of  his few hobbies. I will update about refinishing chairs and my "new" old sewing machines.

Thank you so much for reading such a long post! I am glad that you made it to the end. I hope you enjoyed the story. If not, look forward to the next post. I promise I will write about sewing :-D


  1. Oh, you got a very good deal! I am jealous of your sewing machines! :) There used to be a wonderful sewing machine repair shop in Niles, the man there was very knowledgeable and very inexpensive. Sadly that place closed up quite some time ago.

    1. Hi Jess, thank you for leaving the comment!
      That is too bad that people tend to buy new ones rather than repair what they already have. We are loosing those knowledgeable repairmen by degrees.

  2. What an enjoyable post, full of nice pictures and good humor.
    I know how it is at auctions, you have to be quick and sometimes you come home with something different than planned. I love the chairs and the sewing machines of course, but the printers table got my attention too!

    1. Thank you blandina,
      I am glad you liked the post.If we improve our bidding skill, our house would filled with all the junks and stuff. We will need a huge warehouse in the town :D

  3. No, I don't think you're crazy at all! At those prices you can't lose and you can always sell or give away the excess, as you've done with the sewing machines.
    I'm sure you will enjoy your 'finds' for a long time to come.

    1. Yes, I think so,too! We shouldn't waste those quality things from the past. Recycling is one of the ways to preserve them. (and its fun!)