Quality Craftsmanship

“Maybe if I put them behind the oven, no one will notice.”

Aha, but my client noticed, and so did I. The bricks looked like they were meant for a crappy playhouse for a child. What’s wrong with the usual crummy paneling or linoleum, I ask you?

Cheap-ass Cambridge landlord, you know who you are. The Internet wags its collective finger at you.

Posted in Home furnishings | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Freaky or Adorable? You Decide.

This is a coin purse that turned up in a junk drawer in Watertown, MA.


Put your coin inside the monkey head.

When you squeeze the monkey’s cheeks, its mouth opens, revealing your change. While I think it could be cute to “feed” the monkey a coin, there’s something not quite as appealing about shoving your fingers deep into its mouth and digging around to find the right combination of change. Still, it amuses me. My client kept it, of course!

Posted in Accessories, Animals, Purses | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweeney Beard

I’m sure James Beard was a lovely fellow and a great chef. So I can’t understand why the people of Cuisinart would choose to use this bone-chilling photo of him as a cover for their 1976 cookbook.


He chose this blood-red apron especially for you.

I realize they didn’t have Photoshop in 1976, but surely they had makeup and airbrushing. Is this photo supposed to terrify you into eating your vegetables?

In case you aren’t sufficiently creeped out, here’s a close-up:

Would you like some coleslaw, little girl?

James Beard did not actually look like Uncle Fester in real life. There’s a charming photo of him here on Relish.com, in which he looks like a jolly European toymaker.

This book left a home in Natick, and is on its way to the Medford Public Library for their book sale, where I hope it won’t startle any children.


Posted in Books, Kitchenware | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Shoe! (Bless You.)

This ceramic shoe came from a client’s home in Watertown. She said it’s meant to hold a floral arrangement.

Mom, you can stop bronzing my shoes now.

Everyone who has seen the shoe since it came home with me (well, that is, myself and my daughter) was inexplicably overcome with the urge to try it on, but alas, the open part doesn’t extend into the body of the shoe. Just as well; it probably wouldn’t be good for my bunions.

Is there anyone who would consider an old shoe to be desirable decor, even if it were filled with flowers? I guess it could be a fun present to give to your cousin the podiatrist. But he’d hate it and then he’d keep it for years just in case you came over.

This bewildering item is still here in my house, in case anyone would like it.

Posted in Chatchkes, Utterly Useless Things | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Like a Hallmark Card from on High

This came from a client’s home in Newton.

YOU were only born once, har har.

It has pressed flowers in it, and the kind of gold lettering that’s usually reserved for labeling mailboxes.

When I first saw it, I thought it meant, “Happy birthday, Jesus!” But then I realized (since it had no Christmas imagery) that it actually meant, “Happy Birthday! Here’s a picture of Jesus!” Consider the lilies of the field, how they are dried and flat.

His expression seems to say, “Really? Dude, just pick up a gift card next time.”

I have been informed that this item is indeed up for grabs. Who wants it?

Posted in Art, Religious Art | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tongs for Nothing, Part II

Here is another pair of mystery tongs.

Pokey, pokey tongs.

They’re stainless steel, much shinier than they appear in this lame-ass photo, and actually kind of pretty, almost an art object. They came from Newton (a different client than the last post). The ends aren’t sharp, but they are pointy, making them inefficient for picking up just about anything.

Once again, the client had no idea where they came from. Perhaps aliens are slowly infiltrating our society by depositing their tong technology in the backs of our overstuffed kitchen drawers.

Posted in Kitchenware, What Is It? | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment


This delightful creature turned up in Newton, in a client’s basement.

Honey, be honest. Does this dress make me look like a cow?

I said, “Hey, I’d like to shoot that for my blog,” and the client said, “I’ll do you one better than that; you can have it.” I protested weakly, but gave in. Would anyone like this bovine enchantress? One of her legs is broken, but she bravely capers on. If I don’t get any takers within a week, she’ll be sent off to the Vietnam Vets.

Posted in Art, Chatchkes, Utterly Useless Things | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Useless Labels!

These photos were submitted by “a friend who prefers not to be identified.”┬áThere is a hint in the label of the first one, as the box contains collectible playing cards.

Later! As in, some time that's not now.

What could it be, to be "truly miscellaneous?" I'm guessing a dried squid, a Gimbel's credit card, and someone's X-Ray.

The most amusing part about this box is my impression that my anonymous friend has not touched it since photographing it for me. Keep waiting, and eventually the box will be filled with precious antiques!

Posted in Organizing Attempts, Uncategorized, Utterly Useless Things | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Labels are Magic!

I think we organizers shout so much about how YOU MUST LABEL EVERYTHING OMG that we’ve inadvertently given the impression that writing a word on a piece of paper or sticker and slapping it on a box or bin magically creates order, no matter what it says. To that end, I’ve been collecting some client-produced labels on the job to share with you all.


Hey, at least it has a date.


And they went right back into the file cabinet.


We don't know how much later; we just know it's not now.

And finally, my favorite:


That is 100% accurate labeling!

Not to throw stones, I did have a “random crap” box in my last move. But just one! Do you have a useless label story or photo to share? Please do!

Posted in Organizing Attempts, Papers, Uncategorized, Utterly Useless Things | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Unholy Sh*t!

I found this fabulous work of art at a yard sale in my neighborhood. I realize that this was not something that turned up while I was organizing, but it was weird enough that I felt that I needed to share it with you.


Everybody poops!

Okay, so it’s The Devil on a toilet. My biggest question is, how does he get his right arm to turn at that angle? Well, I guess he can do that kind of thing if he wants to.

If there were a matching painting of Jesus at a urinal, I would have bought both of them.

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments