Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thrifty is good, but free is better!

It's really no secret that I am a bargain hunter, through and through. A pretty good one, even, if I do say so. What's fun is trying to spot the "good stuff" amongst all the junk, whether it's on the shelf at a thrift store, sitting on someone's lawn at a yard sale, or just waiting to be spotted on Craigslist. Generally, when I'm on the hunt I can find something.

Recently, though, I'd been having kind of a dry spell at the thrift stores and while yard saleing. It was a bummer for sure. It's not that I expect to come home with my car PACKED with stuff each time I head out, but visiting 5 thrift stores and coming home with one book for my kids is kind of ridiculous. And don't even get me started on the waste of gas a trip like that is!

Still, I persevere. That's the thing about thrifting- you have to do it often. After one particularly disappointing weekend scouring yard sales, one evening I noticed that the neighbors across the street were moving out, and they'd begun to pile some stuff on the curb by their house. In that pile was a wooden book case, so I sauntered over, decided it was usable (though filthy) and hauled it home.

Over the next few days the pile continued to form, and being directly across the street and having no shame whatsoever when it comes to free furniture, I managed to nab some pretty good stuff! Check it out.

Here's that bookcase, now holding my little boys' stuff quite nicely. I didn't paint it (though I really wanted to), just gave it a good scrubbing and stuck it in their closet with some Ikea buckets that I've had forever.

This is a solid pine dresser that just needs a paint job and some knobs. Oh, and that little wooden heart at the bottom has to GO. But otherwise there's nothing at all the matter with it.

I'm hoping to do something really cool with this headboard. Sorry you can't see all of it.

This must be for a baby doll, and right now it's pretty yucky. It looks like it was left outside for a long time. But I think with some white spray paint and a pretty new ribbon it will be very cute again. I may even have to add a little handmade quilt, too.

This one actually made me squeal and run outside with wet hair to grab it before someone else did.
See, we needed a piano bench, and those are kind of hard to come by without a piano accompanying it. This dining bench, however, will do just as well once I'm able to make it match our piano a little better.

I also had some pretty good luck at a couple of thrift stores this morning. Here's a closer look at the items sitting on my soon-to-be piano bench.

This pretty jar would be fun to fill with brightly colored candy or sea glass or spools of thread or shells or pretty soap or bath salts...

Everyone needs a little white butter tub, right?

I'm loving these three ceramic canisters. Their glaze has that cool crackled look, and I've just never seen anything like these before. They may have to live at my house for a while.

I also managed to find a really BIG lidded jar, a silver pitcher and a glass cloche with a wooden base that will no doubt get painted a pretty blue color in the very near future. Aaaand... I think I might have to keep that pitcher.

Just for fun, here are some more thrifty finds that I've picked up recently that will or already have made it to my space at the store.

I bought two of the wider shutters on the left, and two sets of the skinny shutters on the right (they're hinged together), for a total of 6 really long shutters for just a few bucks. It felt like stealing, I tell you. Fun stuff planned for these as well.

I bought this coffee/tea service at a yard sale and it was black with tarnish. Last night I spent some time using "the good enough" silver polishing method found here and Recipe #2 here. This took some time and elbow grease, but in the end the service got back some of its shine. It's not perfect, but I like it that way.

These 3 hand embroidered and appliqued place mats were in such good condition! They're almost too pretty to use.

This little lidded crock caught my eye because of its unusual color. It's less orange in person and more of a vibrant coral or salmon color and super cute.

And how adorable are these sweet scalloped candle holders? Again, I had to force myself to take them to my space at the shop.

My feelings will not be hurt if this kettle doesn't sell. I'm already kind of regretting taking it in, it's just so stinkin' pretty.

And this little guy- well, we all know that I just can't get enough of birds.

My thrifty urge has been satisfied, especially with all that free stuff from the neighbors. Now I know that bellyaching about rotten luck at yard sales isn't productive, but watching the curbs around my neighborhood definitely is!


Jennifer Chapman said...

Oh my gosh! That silver coffee/tea set is so adorable! I am so jealous of your talents! :)

Kimberly said...

I tell you, I laughed at the image I got in my head of you running across the street to grab that piano bench. I wonder if the neighbors notice how much of their stuff you're making off with. XD

Amy Bahnmiller said...

I love love love your salmon colored crock! Great finds!