Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thrifty Finds

Are you ready for this post?  I don't know if you are.  It has been a FULL week on the thrifting front.  It started Tuesday, while my older kids were in their two hour chemistry class.  I went to one of my favorite thrift stores in northwest Arkansas, Potters House (Romans 9:21).  The really great thing about PH is their pricing system.  They have five different colored price stickers, and everything that gets priced in a given week has the same color sticker.  As things have been in the store for some time, the prices go down.  A chart on the wall tells you what colors are on sale that week.  It works like this: an item is full price for the first two weeks on the floor, 25% off during the third week, 50% (sometimes 75%!!) off during the fourth week, and 50 CENTS (sometimes 25 cents!!!) during the fifth week.  That's right, any item that is entering its 5th week on the floor is 50 or 25 cents.  That really helps them keep their merchandise moving, and prevents seeing the same things at inflated prices on every visit.  I try to visit at least once a week, and on Tuesday I got this gem.

(the desk, not the girl)  I had noticed it a few weeks earlier, but at $25 it was a bit more than I would pay.  I'm a cheapskate?  Maybe, but I'm also a frequent thrifter, and I really try to keep my actual expenditure low for each week.  Anyway, this little 50+ year old beauty was in very nice condition, and I was a bit surprised it made it into the third week (25% off) on the floor.  I was even more surprised to walk in on Tuesday and find it 75% off!  Yes, folks, a hair over $6 for this lovely.  And as you can see, it is the perfect size for Bekah (the height of both chair and desk is adjustable).  She is the only one of my kids who still does most of her homeschooling in the actual schoolroom, so this little desk is prompting me to rethink our school room.  Since the other two kids do most of their work in their rooms, I think our little 3 desk, 2 computer L-shaped set up might transform into a bunch of bookcases, some computer nooks, and this little cutie.  She'll get some cleaning, sanding, and painting, and be quite a jewel.

And speaking of bookcases, there is a reason that I am contemplating adding to the 10 that we already have in our home.  We are book fanatics.  I'll do a post some day on just our bookshelves.  Most are filled with like groupings of books, such as theology, classics, textbooks, vintage kids books, etc.  I add to our book stash almost every week.  This week was no exception, as you'll see.

So I said it was a full week, what did I find?  Well, let's start with fabric!  I have a fabric addiction, and this week I indulged it.

The three pieces across the top are all still available at Hobby Lobby for around $6 per yard.  I have about 4 yards of the polka dot, and about 2-3 yards of each of the other two.  In the middle are two pieces I got from Potters House, and the bottom two are darling vintage fabrics from an estate sale.  The one on the right is so vibrant.  The total cost for all was under $5.

Next is a random collection of awesomeness.

The shirt is for me, and that is embroidery on the front and at the neckline of the back.  I walked into a small charity thrift in a neighboring town, and this was on the mannequin by the door.  I loved it and hoped it would fit me or Rachel.  It was my size, and when I paid for it the nice lady pointed out that since the date on the tag indicated that it had been in the store for one month the following day, she was giving it to me at the 1/2 price that any item that's over a month old gets.  Nice.  The Seal A Meal was from the same store, and is for Husband.  He likes to dehydrate fruits and veggies to use on camping and backpacking trips, and he has expressed a desire to try the vacuum sealing as well,  This came with a variety of bags, so he should be able to get a good feel for it.  The hat is for me.  It was 97 cents at Potters House (i know!!).  I will get a lot of  use out of it during outdoor shooting competitions and Boy Scout events this summer.  In the center is a darling little brass set for the girls' dollhouses.  At $4 it was actually one of the most expensive things I bought this week.  Last is that cute set of (retro?) measuring spoons from a yard sale.

Are you bored yet?  I hope not, because I'm not finished.

Along the top are three sets of new twin size sheets for the kids' beds.  I had not even thought about new sheets, but when I saw these still in the packages, for $2 per set, it made me realize that most of their sheets are fairly old and pilled, so why not?  Under the sheets is a huge enamel baking pan that I got at a yard sale for 50 cents.  On the left is a complete set of books about American history (our family's favorite subject).  I got them for 50 cents for the whole set.  That's the Potters House magic again.  The set was priced at $19.99 when it went on the floor, but because it was in its 5th week, it was 50 cents.

In the center is a milk glass Holly Hobbie mug.  It's very cute, and will be in my Etsy shop soon.  On the right are some canning jars.  I got about twice that many from two different sales.  We are being overrun with strawberries right now, so we will be making jam soon.

Next are some planters and pots that mom and I picked up for Rachel.  She is planning to make some mixed arrangements to sell at our little farmer's market for Mothers Day.  We'll probably put them on Facebook, too, so if any of our local friends are interested, let her know.

Joshua told me he wanted some black and white Converse All Star type shoes, so I told him I'd keep my eyes peeled.  While at Potters House (see what i mean?) about three day later, he found a pair that were his size and 25% off, so they were around $1.  He also found a pair of the real deal for Rachel.  Later in the week she found the pink pair for $2 at a yard sale.

We are almost at the end of this post.  Are you still with me?

I found these goodies at various yard sales.

The four books along the back will probably end up in my Etsy shop, but we are enjoying them for now.  They are all from the mid 1960's through early 1970's.  The book Twenty and Ten is for Bekah to read, and the crayons are for ME.  Yes, me.  The colors are all unusual, and the tips are sharp.  Don't judge me.  The little dress is very cute, but after I got it home I found two holes.  Oh well, it was only 25 cents, and can either be creatively patched or cut up and used as fabric.  Last is the old book.  It's an interesting story (i think).  Rachel and Bekah and I stopped at a yard sale in a neighboring town.  It was pretty, umm,  how should I put it... junky.  Most of the stuff looked like it had been in boxes or at the bottom of a toy box for a long time.  The odd thing was the books.  They were really, really good books.  As in, the content was interesting and cerebral.  Much more so than I would have expected from the other items for sale.  But they were all in terrible shape.  I think they had been stored in cardboard boxes in a damp place like a garage.  I love old books, and will overlook some damage, but these were too far gone.  I chose this one because the illustrations were amazing!

Don't those just suck you in?  I don't know what I'll do with them, but they were too enchanting to leave behind.  Do you have some display or craft ideas for book illustrations?

So that is my haul for this week.  I actually found a few more items, but I had either already put them away, or I forgot about them until after the pictures were taken.  This is a really good example of how great the thrifting is in my area.  All of the things in this post, the shoes, books, hat, dishes, fabric, sheets, planters, desk, and everything else, cost less than $35 total.  Seriously.

I'm linking up with Me and My Shadow for Magpie Monday, Her Library Adventures for Flea Market Finds, and Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday (if she returns).  Go check out everyone's finds.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thrifty Finds

I'm late on this post, but at least I didn't talk myself out of doing it!  Mild illness and a heavy schedule has really got me dragging.

My brother lives about an hour away, and he came down on Wednesday to hit some flea markets and let me cook him a birthday lunch.  We didn't buy a lot, but it was fun.  Rebekah used her own money to by this crocheted doll dress for $1.75.

(eta: again my lack of focus is showing.  i didn't even see bekah's cardboard playhouse in the background until i looked at the finished post.  i don't have the energy to retake the shot, and my photo editing software is behaving badly, so you get a glimpse of the playhouse, which normally lives behind the couch, hidden from view)

On Saturday, as I was driving Rachel and Joshua to their shooting sports practice at 8 am, we passed a sign for a benefit sale for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Zowie.  If there is one thing I love more than a yard sale it's veterans!  It hurt to pass that one by.  After I got the kids settled in I realized I needed to go to the post office, so of course I had to run back by that sale.  And two others.  All three were for charity, so I think it was fine.

The owl is painted on the back of the glass.  That piece is already in my Etsy shop.  Speaking of my Etsy shop, I had my first sale this weekend, and an inquiry about shipping another item to the Netherlands.  Yippee.  Ok, back to the finds.  On the far right in that picture is this.

This is the milk glass juicing attachment for an old stand mixer.  Complete with chrome spout. I have an old stand mixer, but I don't have the juicer.  Well, I didn't have the juicer.  The lady taking money at the church sale didn't know what it was, but I filled her in.

The cute painting is also from that church sale, and it is an actual painting.

I don't know where it's going, but it was too pretty to pass up (especially for .75!)

Also from that sale, I got these vintage clip on earrings.

Rachel and I sort of collect vintage clip ons.  (i have had so much trouble with picture rotating themselves at random in this post, that i'm not even going to mess with that one)

I'm linking up with Me and My Shadow for Magpie Monday, Her Library Adventures for Flea Market Finds and Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday.  Go check out the goodies.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Night Retro

Tonight's retro came about in a strange way.  I was driving Joshua to meet his Boy Scout troop for camp, and I had my XM radio set to the 70's on 7.  I'm pretty knowledgeable about 70's music, particularly anything that enjoyed some popularity.  In high school in the 80's I used to fill the time by making lists of my 100 favorite bands or songs, and ranking them.  Other than the heavy metal, most were from the 70's.  So imagine my surprise when a song started that I had never heard, and it was good!  It caught my attention immediately with the music, and I glanced at the radio to see what it was.  It said the band was "Osmonds".  Well, my thought was, "Oh, I didn't know there were two bands called Osmonds."  Then the vocals started, and I was rocking along with it, really enjoying it, and wondering about this "other" Osmonds band.  Then I heard him.  Donny.  Unmistakable.  I was floored!  This was an Osmonds I had never encountered.

Listen to that and tell me it's not better than you expected.

I was 8 years old in 1976, when Donny and Marie had a hit with "Deep Purple".  In my neighborhood you were either a Donny Osmond girl or a Shaun Cassidy girl.  (some older girls were David Cassidy girls, but we thought they were weird.  now i know they were the smart ones.)  I really only knew "The Osmonds" as Donny, Marie, and a bit later, Jimmy.  The only song I knew that included the older brothers was this.

But the bulk of my Osmonds experience was more like this.

Yeah, not quite the same.

So there's your retro for this week.  Have a little fun and poke around the web for old Osmonds songs.  Who knows what you'll find.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thrifty Finds

I'm not gonna lie to you.  I was tempted to skip the Monday thrifting post again this week.  But the "again" part got to me.  I know myself well enough to know that I can't let patterns of complacency establish themselves.  So here I am.  I am linking up with Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow, Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl, and Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures.

It's been a hard week.  I can't put my finger on it, but something's had me moving slowly and accomplishing little.  My kids have had a lot going on, with three shooting practices, Boy Scouts, and some extra homeschool projects.  One night an ear ache kept me up, so I was cranky the next day.  At one point I couldn't find some of the items I had thrifted.  They were right were I put them, but because of my lack of focus, I couldn't remember where that was.  The national weather service issued some very dire sounding tornado watches and warnings for my area.  Thank God the worst we got was a leak in from an interior doorway that freaked me out for a bit.  I thought my beloved camera was broken, and it's income tax time!  All of this made it hard to focus on the blog, or thrifting, or posting about thrifting.  Ok, that's a lie.  I thrifted just fine, thank you very much.  And here is my proof.

Those gorgeous snack trays are from the Philippines.  In the interest of full disclosure I'll say that I thrifted them several weeks ago.  I recently thrifted some that are similar in shape, but made of metal and wood.  However, I can't remember where I put them!!!  Seriously, this is bad.  The books on the left are all fun 70's finds from a small thrift store (Leif Garrett, The Partridge Family, and a cute book about adapting to high school), and the vintage Girl Scout book is from Goodwill.  All of these gems, and the things I can't find right now (grrrrr!) will go in my Etsy shop very soon.  I really need to get busy on that.

Here's a cute find from a yardsale.

A finch feeder shaped like an acorn.  It is glass and metal.  This is one of those things that I loved at first sight, but have since realized that I might need to pass along.  We'll see.

Finally, I've looked at these gems at one of my favorite thrifts several times, and this time I decided they needed to be put back into circulation, so here they are, waiting for me to get busy and list them in my Etsy shop.

These are cute little glass coasters.  Off to the side are what I have seen referred to as "spoon rests", but what I prefer to think of as "cigarette rests".  I think they are much more glamorous that way.  No, smoking is not glamorous, but the way in which it was incorporated into life and decorating and entertaining in decades past continues to amuse and amaze me.  I own several of these clear glass snack sets, which I've seen referred to as "Sip and Smoke" sets.

Do you see the little cigarette rest in the near corner?  Fascinating.  Collecting vintage items means not only enjoying their beauty, but also appreciating their weird side.

Finally, a lovely little .99 find that will not be moving on to Etsy, but will live with me for now.

A lovely Temporama dinner plate to go with a few other pieces I have of this pattern.  (the table top underneath, you ask?  ahhh, that is an 1850's find for another day.  it's one of my weirdest thrifting stories, and i plan to get to it soon.)

Well, that's it.  I feel a bit like I've missed the mark.  I've felt that way all week.  I must confess, my spiritual life has been just as lackluster.  I suspect that therein lies the key.  I hope that next week I will have a more energetic and exciting post to share with all of you.

ETA:  Well, this is a perfect example of how unfocused I am.  The wooden trays with the cork in the picture are the new ones.  I don't know why I thought they had metal.  The ones from the Philippines are sold wood, no cork.  All are deliciously gorgeous, though.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Night Retro

Saturday night.  Not such a relaxing one this week.  The forecast for horrendous storms has prompted Joshua's Boy Scout troop to cut short a camping trip, and Husband is on his way to get him.  I'm glad they are erring on the side of caution.

Tonight's Retro will be with a twist.  I'm featuring songs I didn't like when I was in high school.  Why?  No reason, just thought it might be fun.

First up is one of my all time least favorite songs from one of my all time least favorite frontmen for one of my least favorite bands.

Painful.  And more so if your name is Sharon, and you go by Sherri in high school.

Moving on... how about this gem.  The picture alone is criminal.

And a terrific suggestion from my sister.

She asked my brother in law to name the worst songs of the 80s and he said, "Most of them."  Hehe.

In order to make this blog post I had to listen to several versions of each of those songs, so I could pick the "best" one.  I deserve combat pay.

Let's end on a happier note.  Who remembers these?

Roller skate covers!!  These were huge when I was in early high school in Tennessee.  I've encountered very few people who have heard of them, though.   How about you?  Have you heard of them?  Did you have them?  Leave me a comment.

ETA:  Husband returned with Joshua, and asked me to include this late entry in the bad songs list.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Empty Tomb

The Resurrection

20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Night Retro

Wow, it seems like forever since I've been home on a Saturday night.  Shooting competitions, Boy Scout campouts, and a myriad of other activities have kept me hopping.  I was tempted to go to bed when the kids did tonight, but I decided to soldier on.

This has been stuck in my head all week.  It's a great song, so it hasn't been too annoying, though Joshua did mention that I've been singing it a lot, so I guess it's not entirely in my head.

That led me to this.

And this.

(which Husband does not care for, but to each his own, right?)

So there ya go.  Golden Earring to Edith Piaf in two easy steps.

How about a bit of retro fluff?  Here's a pic of my sister, a friend whose name I've forgotten, and me in about 1972.

Joshua saw this and exclaimed, "YOU WERE A BUNCH OF HIPPIES!!!"  Hehe.  I think our friend is flashing the Girl Scout symbol.  That cracks me up.

Ok, how many of you remember Space Food Sticks?

We just called them food sticks, but most of the info I've found calls them Space Food Sticks.  Here's an awesome commercial for them.

My sister, brother and I loved those things.

What was your favorite snack as a kid?  Share in the comments.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Thrifty Finds: A Cautionary Tale

I'm linking up with Magpie Monday over at Me & My Shadow, Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl, and my newest find, Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures.

First let me recap my plea for help identifying this lamp.  Take a moment, if you will, and see if you can add to my knowledge about it.

Ok, today's post is subtitled "A Cautionary Tale".  I had a little giggle at my own expense this weekend, and I thought it might be helpful to some of you, and amusing to others, to hear about my trouble.

My daughter, Rachel, was competing in a pistol shooting competition this weekend, down in Little Rock (her team won second place, and first place was another team from our club.  yea!!)  Little Rock is almost 3 hours from my home, but I travel there relatively frequently, since Husband is an elected official, and that's our state capital.  Whenever I go I try to hit a few thrift stores.  There are two Savers nearby, and a few smaller thrifts.  After Rachel shot on Saturday morning, I hopped in the car and zoomed into town to look for Pyrex and other treasure at Savers.  I didn't buy anything, but at the end of this post I'll include a few pics of some pretties I passed.

Anyway, driving from the relatively rural area where the shooting competition was to downtown Little Rock I passed several yard sale signs.  Now I don't usually pass yard sale signs, but I was trying to make sure I got back before the awards were handed out, so pass them I did.  One in particular caught my eye, because it was far from the city, and looked like the type of sale that might have old dishes.  I decided to stop on the way back from Savers, but since it was already after noon I was afraid it would be closed up.  I took a quick turn around Savers, saw nothing I couldn't live without, and headed back.  I was thrilled to find the sale was still open, but when I got out and began to look around I saw that I had been way off on my prediction of old dishes.

Just as I was about to settle for a .50 item to avoid the awkwardness of leaving a lonely sale without making a purchase, I spotted it.

Yeah.  A nesting doll.  Rebekah collects nesting dolls.  We love nesting dolls.  I grabbed it up, thinking the price sticker said $1.  On turning it a bit, I saw that it said $10.  Oh.  I can't pay $10.  Not a a yard sale.  It's just not in me.  I opened it, and discovered this.

Oh boy.  It was a Wizard of Oz nesting doll set.  There was Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and little Toto.  Sigh.  The lady having the sale said, "That's an antique.  It's from Germany."  I replied, "It's darling.  My youngest daughter collects nesting dolls."  I still had it in my hand, because I really, really liked it.  I was not surprised by her statement about it being an antique from Germany, because I had looked at many nesting doll sets online, and knew that such a thing existed.  She said, "How much do I have on it?"  I told her, and she said, "You can have it for $5."  Now that was more my speed.  I had no desire to treat her unfairly, and no plan to ask her to go down on the price.  I would have left without it, though.  She had some lovely, healthy hostas in pots for $1, so I bought several of those along with the doll set.  I think we were both happy.

I headed back to the shooting competition, pondering the nesting set.  I had seen some with characters that were over $200, and I knew if this set was worth that much I'd have to think for awhile about when to give it to Bekah.  She has an amazingly detailed set from Russia that is not to be played with, and I was prepared to put this set on the shelf with that one.  I needed to get back to the competition site, access the wifi on my iPod, and check this out.

I found a quiet corner, pulled the set from my bag, turned it over, and saw this.

Wow.  Seriously.  Folks, this is not my first rodeo.  I have been thrifting/yard saling for more than two decades.  I am the person other people call to ask thrifting questions.  And yet there it was.  A price sticker.  $13.90.  I peeled it back and saw this.

Made in China.  Not Germany.

I'm not going to lie.  I was somewhat stunned.  I didn't really care that it wasn't an antique, or that it wasn't made in Germany.  I did care that I had overlooked this, and I cared a bit that the seller had been so wrong.  (i am not saying she was deceitful.  if she had intended to deceive, surely she would have removed the stickers.)

As I pondered the depths of my oversight, I saw this.


Yeah. Some fairly serious damage.

Again, I was not upset that the set wasn't valuable, or even that it was damaged.  I was confused and irritated at my failure to notice.  As I pondered my error, this blog post took shape.  There was a kind of blindness that overcame me as I held something I really, really liked.  I failed to look at the actual item, and instead saw only what I "thought" I was seeing.  This isn't the first time this has happened.  I have purchased dishes that I was over the moon about, only to get them home and discover large chips.  Or a serving set that is actually missing a piece.  A leather purse with a torn lining.  Whatever it is, it's the same lesson:  I got so excited about what I thought I had, that I failed to see what I actually had.  I am not one to spend more than a few dollars on most thrifted items, so the sting is rarely financially motivated.  It is simply an embarrassment/confusion over my own myopathy.

The lesson that I hope novice thrifters (and maybe some veterans like myself??) will take from this my mistake is this:  Stop.  Look.  Examine the piece carefully.  Turn it over.  Run your finger along the edge.  If you find something negative it doesn't mean you can't buy it and love it, it just means you won't get a nasty surprise later.  If I had seen the price sticker I wouldn't have hesitated to ask the seller to take less.  Since I didn't see it, if she hadn't offered to take less, and I had left without this set, I would probably still be kicking myself.  I hope that I, as much as any of you, will remember this lesson.

**** If you know Rebekah, please don't mention this to her.  I won't be giving it to her right away.****

And on a lighter note, here are the lovelies that I did not buy at the Little Rock Savers.

Fireking (i'm guessing) round casserole
cute mid century footstool
Temperware Fall Bounty
Fireking (i'm guessing) vegetable pattern
kicking myself a bit here, chrome Sunbeam Mixmaster $15