Sunday, May 18, 2008


Saturday morning was already hot by about eight. Why, you’d think we were in Southern California or something! The sunny side of the street may be where you want to direct your feet most of the time, but when that’s where your garage sale is, your sunscreen had better be SPF 563 or thereabouts. One sale I stopped at was evidently the product of several friends who had pooled their stuff, and one of the sellers was very concerned that she hadn’t worn a tank top. But hey, no problem—she just rummaged through the clothes her friend had brought, found a tank top, and went off to change.

Petted the usual variety of dogs—poodle, golden retriever, small mop-like creature—and the unusual tortoise. Her name was Michelle, she is 12 years old, and the family having the yard sale have had her since she was palm-sized. They put her into hibernation every winter, and said she is the easiest pet they have (others include dogs, ferrets, and bunnies). For a reptile, she was pretty darned charming! (Not that I have anything against reptiles. Bugs, yes; reptiles no.) In fact I was so charmed I never thought of taking her picture until I had driven away (my general modus operandi with a camera, which is why we have almost no vacation pictures).

I'd have needed a video camera to capture the scene at another sale. It appeared to be the efforts of an extended family, lots of stuff, lots of people. I was headed back to my car when a raised voice stopped me. A middle-aged woman jerked a white lace dress off the ground and said loudly, “What are you thinking! Your communion dress? It's a sin!” I loved the pragmatic comeback from another family member: “But when was the last time you wore it?”

My last stop was fun. It was a few blocks away from what struck me as one of the best intersections I've ever encountered: the corner of Suburbia and Theseus.

The sale was at a house with a narrow front yard filled with blooms: roses, Jupiter’s beard, evening primrose, sage, coreopsis. I complimented the people having the sale on their lovely yard, who seemed delighted. They immediately offered me cake and we talked plants while I looked around their sale. One of the two women asked me in a slight German accent if I knew what a particular plant was (the Jupiter’s beard--Centranthus ruber). And when I admired a particular geranium she grabbed some clippers and started giving me cuttings. I ended up with 2 or 3 ger
aniums and a couple of salvias—hope they take root! If I could remember where her house is, I should take her some of the coleus I got a few years ago at another sale. I was admiring it and the homeowner broke off a couple of pieces, and it has proved to be a great garden-workhorse. It looks different depending on where it's growing, and even blooms in long bright-blue spikes.
Hmmm. I bet I could find her house again. It's near the corner of Suburbia and Theseus.

I spent a total of $9.35, and this is what I got:

A Beatrix Potter bowl, from the family with the teenage boy and the poodle. The mom told me she’d decorated her son’s room totally in Beatrix Potter when he was a baby. He looked a little abashed to have anyone know this.

A small vintage Japanese plate, and a not-so-vintage dinner plate with a cheerful design of oranges.

A couple of nearly-new washcloths with roses, and a dishtowel of colors I like. (I have green tile counters in my kitchen, and this will look good with them.) And this vintage embroidered towel—how could I pass up something that says ‘Saturday’? I'm may try to take a picture of it for a blog header.

These fun paper cutouts—the German lady said when she was a child all the kids collected these.

Some silly/fun dangly earrings, which will be perfect with a dress I thrifted last summer.

A door prize for a future meeting with my children’s librarians, a fun metal picture frame.

And some things to sell (which, BTW, if ever you see something here you’re interested in, send me a message; I'd be perfectly happy not to have to list it on eBay!):

A Sigred Olsen tank top…

Adorable dress from Talbot’s, printed with tiny little veggies!

And this terrific Coach bag. Not sure why anyone would get rid of a Coach bag, because they basically last forever, but garagers don’t ask those questions, we just quietly (well, pretty quietly!) pay and head down the trail to the next sale.

Speaking of heading down the trail…I'll be in Oregon next Saturday. I'll try to go garaging up there but don’t know if that will happen, so I may miss a week blogging. But I'll be back soon!


  1. Love the washcloths! And I got a set of those weekday towels on eBay, a while back. The embroidery work is finished but they need to be hemmed. Maybe I should do that today so I can actually use them!

  2. hiya! thanks for stopping by my blog - now i see you have great thrift-karma and obviously you would find great napkins!
    Thanks for the tip and happy thrifting!

  3. I like your style, Queen of Fifty Cents! We are but star-crossed thrifters in this bloggish world, darling.


  4. Hi QFC!
    I gotta find out how you choose your routes. Any hints on what makes an area good? I usually only have one day a week, maybe a couple of hours at most, so I have to make my time count!
    I still do pretty well with Goodwill, but they have pulled a dirty trick on us---every week they would take the color tag that had been on the longest, and take 50% off. Too many of us super shoppers, I guess, because they are no longer doing it on prime time Friday or Saturday! Buggers!
    My current "thing" is looking for the little houses, like the David Winter cottages. They can be pretty pricy when bought new, but nobody wants them when they are chipped. I get them for .50 or $1.00, and put them out in my garden among the flowers...sort of a fairy garden look.
    Catch the Reading Bug!!

  5. I'm planning to do a whole posting one of these days on Choosing your Sale Route! But the real secret is, just keep going out there looking. I find good stuff because I put myself in its way!

  6. what is your ebay id? i love the paper cutouts! i'll keep your ebay bookmarked!

  7. K, I have to find a way of winning the best door prizes! The picture frame is the cutest!

  8. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm having a great time going through all your posts! I agree, yard sales are hit or miss, but you never get to know the history of the "find" at a thrift store!
    I'll be back!

  9. Thank you for your comment on my blog! Wow! You do some amazing thrifty shopping -- I can't wait to see more from your adventures as well!

    -- Vanessa

  10. I'm glad you stopped by my blog, too, as I loved reading yours! You do find some great stuff. It's funny, I'm in Oregon, near the Washington border, and find quite a few sales (are there ever enough), but when we went on a trip to California one summer, I could find NO sales anywhere we went LOL. I think we just have to know areas. And there's always that sale that is out of nowhere, but soooo worth finding!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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