Monday, July 30, 2012

Thrifting, Michigan style

This morning I asked the kids if they wanted to go "treasure hunting" with me, and of course they were game. So we gleefully embarked on our first thrifting adventure since moving to Ann Arbor. People kept telling me that I'd love the thrift, antique and consignment stores around here, but I hadn't been able to get out to any until now.

 I had 4 stores that I planned to visit today, starting with The Salvation Army. I knew before even walking in that we weren't going to make it to all 4 stores. That place was HUGE! I was almost hyperventilating just looking at the expanse of thrifty goodness before me!

I remained as calm as I could as I made my way through the store. The furniture section was calling my name and did not disappoint! Dresser after beautiful antique dresser sat there taunting me. I hate that I can't paint furniture right now! I contemplated buying one of the smaller, less expensive ones, but I soon realized that I couldn't get it home with my car full of kids, and I couldn't get it up the stairs to the apartment without a husband home to help me.

I had to walk away and search for smaller, more portable treasures.

The next store we visited was the PTO Thrift Store. It was huge, too! I wandered into their craft supply section and had to get my phone out to take a few photos. (Sorry I didn't think of it at the S.A. You would've died over some of the furniture there!)

These little cubbies were stuffed with cloth napkins and hankies.

Doilies seemed to be super scarce in California, but here they had at least 2 drawers FULL of them!

And check out this unit of drawers.  Each one is neatly organized with things like modeling clay, floral supplies, tools, and other random stuff.  Next time I'm coming alone so I can spend as long as I want sifting through them all!


On the other side of the long drawer unit was ANOTHER length of drawers with sewing supplies!  Spools of thread, zippers, bias tape, ric rac, various closures, appliques, elastic, Velcro, quilting supplies... the list goes on and on!

I didn't count how many drawers of trim there were, but I wanted to just dive right in after opening just one.  Vintage lace and ribbon?  Anybody have a fan I could borrow?  I feel faint.

I know where to go for buttons from now on!

Their furniture selection was a little underwhelming.  But that's good.  I'd rather find nothing I want than EVERYTHING I want right now. 

Check out this crazy pair of chairs.  Just 40 bucks apiece, folks.  Get 'em before they're gone!  ;)

The one thing I really, really, really did want, though, was this awesome upright piano.  It's just gorgeous, if you ask me.  And only $150??  Uh, YES PLEASE!

Check out that fantastic texture that the finish has developed!

Someday we will have a piano again, but not today.

Unfortunately during our visit to the PTO store, my darling 3-year-old progressively wore through his last bit of good behavior (and my patience), so by the time we were done we were most definitely DONE.  Those two other mystery stores and all of their undiscovered treasures would just have to wait.

I did come home with a pretty good haul, though.  Wanna see what I got?

Adding to my art collection with these 3 pieces: a signed art print, a cheap botanical illustration and an original painting on canvas

I probably paid more for the print than I should have, but I thought it was neat that it was titled and signed, and the sticker on the back gives information about the artist, who is a Michigander.

Found a few good albums in a giant bin of CDs and VHS tapes.

This little guy got some cool yellow rain boots that he's NUTS about!

Adding to my collection of pitchers, these being of the smaller variety (would that make them creamers?).  I have every intention of scrubbing that yucky brown paint off of the milk glass one.

Found an old hanger, a cute little pewter vessel, some white cloth napkins and a BUNCH of silver utensils.  Tarnished silverware makes me happy.  :)

Oh man, I couldn't believe I found an little wooden shoe form AND a cool old hand mirror at the same time!  I'm gathering hand mirrors to hang on a wall together... someday.

 Cute little metal plaque on the back

I also found this wool hooded & belted sweater coat with an adorable pleated sash around the waist.  (Phew, that was a mouthful!)

Summertime requires cotton skirts.  Love the print on this one.

This peasant top is a lovely watermelon color (though it reads more fuchsia here) and I love the lace on top.  Cute, yeah?

My girl got this sweet little jacket for school...

...and check out that wild paisley lining!

When I saw this tattered old quilt I put it in my cart before I even looked for a price tag.  $10- SOLD!

I inspected it closer when I got home and found that it was in pretty bad shape in a lot of spots.  I knew when I bought it that it was pretty ratty, and it even looked like someone had tried to tea/coffee stain the whole thing intentionally.

Every few sections there's a space that's completely worn away and the cotton batting shows through.

But those sweet old fabrics called to me.

And the hand stitching deserved some acknowledgement, too.  I plan on soaking it in some BIZ to (hopefully) restore some of its whiteness. 

This quilt has potential, my friends.  Maybe not as a quilt, but this will be a perfect cutter quilt.  I see hot pads, pot holders, place mats, nursery bunting, Christmas stockings, pin cushions...  It will be useful again!

Find anything good at the thrift store lately??


Unknown said...

How did I miss that you'd moved to Michigan?!

I love the PTO store. I could spend hours going from one Sal to the next.

Elizabeth Packham said...

Just spent some time at the Good Will here in Caldwell..look what I found!!! I feel like a million bucks :D

thanks for posting!

Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D said...

Hi Sarah,
I don't think I've ever commented "Helloooo!"

I was just in Ann Arbor last week. Great pulled pork over at the Blue Tractor near the U of M!

I love antiquing in Michigan! I have found lovely things - including a vintage brass scale set. Swoon.

I'm so glad you will be giving that quilt a new life! Perhaps MANY new lives...and different things. Someone spent a good amount of time on that and you'll be letting it carry on.

Most people would have just passed her up!

All the best,
~ Dana

Jaclyn said...

Ok, I am coming to Michigan to go thrifting with you! Haha! Miss seeing you around Unique Boutiques...Madalyn has a cute Mary Jane pair of your Diddle Dumpling shoes. I love precious! Glad to see you're settling in your new home.

Anonymous said...

I have that exact sweater---it's an Anthropologie sweater! I don't remember what I paid for it, but I'm sure it's over $100.00! I love mine. Great find!!!

Gloria said...

I found your blog via Pinterest. I am new (and addicted!!!) to Pinterest! First I saw you were from Michigan and read on to find that you recently moved to Ann Arbor. I live outside of Blissfield (south of Ann Arbor) and my husband works in Ann Arbor. The PTO thift shop is one of my favorite places to "shop". All of the pictures of the craft and fabric bins are so familiar to me. I've found many a treasure there!!! Gloria

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were on our way to the MI State Surplus Sale, held once a mo. on Sat. We happened upon a storage facility sale (not auction!). I got 18 blue Mason/Ball jars!

MSU also has a surplus building, that sells stuff left over from the university. You might want to check to see if U of M has one also. I got an old globe ($5), test tubes ($1), and other random type stuff.

Love to see a cool blog from MI, added you to my RSS feed!

Nikki said...

I love your blog! Thrifting is quite possibly one of my favorite pasttimes! My friend got me an old spice set of drawers that is about 8 inches tall. It is out of this old wood and is precious. I keep it on my bathroom counter to put earrings and rings in :)

Monica said...

loooooooooooooooooove that jacket with the crazy paisley lining!

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