Friday, March 26, 2010

Good Friday

Yes, Yard Sales are my favorite, but “The Goodwill”  (as my friend Olaiya calls it, and I decided it was so cute that I adopted the “the” as well, and will from here on out refer to it as “The Goodwill”) is a close second. (Bare with my run on sentence style of over explaining; the style in which you can’t really figure out what the sentence, before I started explaining, meant in the first place.)

When there is no time for yard saling, “The Goodwill” is really a quite delightful alternative. If my mom had a blog name it would be “The Goodwill Girl,” (and maybe someday we will join forces to dominate the thrift blogging world, she does have her masters in English…..oh yes and if my grammar is bad and my sentences are too long instead of thinking I’m dumb, just think of it as a way for a girl to rebel against her English teacher mom’s grammar oppression ;-) )  My mom has been taking me to The Goodwill for as long as I can remember. She taught me how to separate the junk from the good stuff; how to find the real wood that just needs re-done, and how to find the diamonds amongst the tchotchkes.

Because I was headed to Portland for the weekend, Friday at Goodwill was a good substitute for Saturday saling. Here are some cool things I found that I love.


Cute blue  flower bowl that I will put hair ties, chapstick, earrings, etc in on my bedside table.

Cost was 99 cents, minus 20 percent because of a 20 percent off entire purchase coupon I had from the Chinook book.


Cute little white Dansk bowl 99 cents and cool big tea pot so Alex and I can share a pot of tea instead of making it in individual cups. (For some reason saying to myself, and you all, that Alex and I will share a pot of tea just sounds so loving and wonderful. I hope to share many pots of tea with him and any one else who also enjoys the idea of sharing a pot of tea) Cost of tea pot 2 dollars and 99 cents.


My same friend Olaiya, Who says “The Goodwill”, loves these jar glasses. I’ve been looking for some tall drinking glasses, and really enjoy their simplicity, hominess,  and their elegant non-pretention. And at .16 cents a piece, I don’t think I could get a better deal at a yard sale! I did have to clean off old jam labels and scrub a bit of old dried jam off of the rims, but really that is what “The Goodwill” is all about. Putting a bit of work into the items that you find, and getting even more enjoyment out of them. 026

And just for you mom, two of those candle’s that you don’t light. They have a switch at the bottom, and they look pretty real. My mom has been trying to talk me into buying some of these for years…..yes years. So at 99 cents a piece I figured I would give my mom a bit of joy when she visits from Arizona. Perhaps I will set one on her bedside table, or enjoy a faux candle lit dinner with her.


And alas the piece de rĂ©sistance, this chair. Ok ok, so I am actually still making up my mind about it. If you could sit in it though you would understand, soooooooo comfortable. I think it is kind of like me, not quite cool, just about there, but doesn’t really seem to be bothered by it’s not quite coolness. So I relate to it that way. It is going upstairs in our guest bedroom…..perhaps next to my mothers fake candles, so she can have a reminder of me and my unwillingness to match my clothes and color coordinate my rooms. I think I like how the chair seems pretty stuck on it’s just about cool and fine with that kind of vibe… that just me performing transference onto a chair….I guess some people think their cars or computers represent them, well for me it is kind of cool Goodwill chairs, it is what it is. Cost 25 dollars.

Pretty good day of deals, I got 20 percent off of all of those prices because of the coupon and ended up with some “Good” finds at The Goodwill. Have a great weekend ya’ll!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Cleaning and Yard Sales

Spring has sprung! Finally time to venture out from The Goodwill and get back to my real thrift friend the Yard Sale.


Friday because of the amazing weather, our boss let us out two hours early. It felt like in third grade when the teacher let’s you out to recess on the first nice day of spring. Seriously I had to stop myself from running out the door of the office with my arms up in the air and face toward the sky. It could only be more fantastic if there were actual a set of playground equipment outside the office.Gleaming sunshine and ogles of yard sale signs. It is a wonderful life after all!  Windows down and glasses on, for reading addresses on signs as to not cause sudden accidents with my crazy yard sale u-turns. The first sign spotted, an estate sale, in the adorable Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle. Jackpot……

Ok not quite the big one, yes the sale contained some amazingly adorable things including a vintage Dutch cow creamer, one where the milk comes out the cow’s mouth, and also, some really beautiful inexpensive artwork. But the cow cost 10 dollars and the art all over 20 dollars. Sounds reasonable, if I hadn’t busted my entire 40 dollar thrifting budget with my friend Nicole last weekend at two amazing estate sales. After opening my wallet to reveal three quarters and some dryer lint I began to regret a few of my prior purchases.

This weekend the quarter to fifty cent price range was about all I could justify. This is an absurd expectation at an estate sale, especially on the first day. I left much earlier than I usually would, typically preferring to hem and haw over cow creamers and cool art.Still in 3rd grader mode, I practically crossed my arms, stomped my feet, and huffed on my way out of the estate sale in unreasonable disappointment, mostly in myself for not thinking about future sales with cute cow creamers the previous week while I binged on antique silver demitasse spoons and crystal butter trays.Defeated and low in energy after my internal tantrum. I opted for iced coffee, driving aimlessly, and enjoying the sun, instead of thrifting.

Saturday morning I awoke refreshed feeling fortunate as I gazed out the window for round two of the amazing weather. The thrift gods were giving me a second chance at glory! After exchanging old CD's at Sonic Boom, scoring $22 in store credit, purchasing both Glee CD's (don't judge), and buying a stash Tom's of Maine toothpaste on sale for $2.99 per tube, I was ready to find the sales!The combination of the sun and morning deals put me in an enthusiastic mood for saling,and to my delight,an infinite number of signs had popped up over night.

First sale yielded this lovely teak tray still in it's box for 2 dollars. The only thing missing was someone serving me breakfast on it. I tried to convince my boyfriend, Alex, Sunday morning to no avail, and am still hoping he'll succumb to the lure of its beautiful teak, but with my morning breath I doubt it. The opulent candelabra was 1 dollar.  It will be added to my collection of twenty or so gold candlesticks. Since subtlety is hardly in my vocabulary, the thought of this decadent candelabra next to my twenty sticks at my fantasy dinner party, I keep meaning to host someday somewhere somehow, was irresistible, especially for 1 dollar.

The next sale was one of the best I've been to. First thing I spied was this Magnolia painting. Since moving to Seattle I’ve developed a Magnolia obsession. The first neighborhood I lived in Seattle was Magnolia. Also, the blooming Magnolia trees seem to signal the opportunities spring beholds, its beautiful white and pink blooms are devastatingly beautiful. Especially because in Iowa they typically bloom for a day or so before a late frost comes and all the blooms fall off.

With a 10 dollar original price I skirted the painting knowing that I would regret it later.I had set an arbitrary amount of no more than 5 dollars per item. If you can say one thing about me, it is that I am stubborn regarding arbitrary meaningless ideas I set forth, and I then regret that stubbornness later. I really wouldn’t want to ruin that by buying myself something that I adored and made me happy for ten dollars.After reluctantly side stepping the painting, these lovely yellow  stoneware mugs priced at 3 dollars for all 8 popped out at me. I quickly carried them to the cashier, starting my protected pile, so I was free peruse the goods without someone else snatching my selections. After asking if the lady if she would watch my new treasures, she kindly informed me all items were half off.  I made a lunge toward the painting to stake my claim as soon as the word half came out of her mouth adding the painting to my protected stash of cast off delights

As I took one last lap, the lovely women hosting the sale watched as I eyed these fun and playful paintings. At 3 dollars apiece I knew I could only justify buying one. While attempting to find the one Alex would despise least, pretty sure the weird red bird painting would be the one I would select with the elephants coming in a close second, the delightful host implored, "I'll give it to you for $1." This being a deal I could not pass up, I preceded to take the red bird away.  "No no, you must take all six for for 1 dollar,” she insisted.

Well all righty then. I scooped up all six deciding not to kick this gift horse in the mouth by asking if I could take just two. So I made off with six original paintings for 1 dollar.Alex says we can only keep one.  I will sell the others at my yard sale, and most likely turn a big  profit (relatively). Or I'll find friends who also have a strange taste for yard sale art as well to bequeath them to. Or,wouldn’t they just look adorable in a children's room.....minus the fact I have zero  children, and six paintings….whatever less than 20 cents per painting, no buyers remorse.

……my best friend Lindsey turned out to be that very lucky friend and also enjoyed my 20 cent bright animal art. She took three, but I have a feeling Jeff her boyfriend moving in with her in August might, like Alex, only allow one of these 20 cent delights in the house. But since birds of a feather flock together (especially weird red birds), I have no doubt Lindsey can pawn…..I mean kindly gift the other two paintings to a friend with similarly eccentric taste in colorfully weird animal art.

Totals for the day: Teak Tray 2 dollars+Candelabra 1 dollar+ Painting 5 dollars+ Mugs 1 dollar and 50 cents+6 Original (strange yes, but still original) works of art (ok work of art might be a bit much….but whatever) 1 dollar = 10 Dollars and 50 Cents Triumph! Only 50 cents over arbitrary budget, and most items were of the useful and un-ridiculous sort (at least to me). Happy Spring!  I wish you all sunshine, blossoms, and yard Sale bounty in this upcoming season!