Sunday, February 15, 2009

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS YARD SALE


I always wake up early. Very early. Like, 4 a.m. early. I used to figure I was a dairy farmer in my last life, but by now I've decided I was probably the cow.

I was delighted when 4 a.m. rolled around Saturday morning and I opened my eyes to see moonlight streaming through the Himalayan bamboo outside my bedroom window. Moonlight now meant sunshine later, which would mean…yard sales! It rained all day yesterday, so I was resigned to a second weekend without my thrifting fix. Those of you who travel the thrifting road know what I'm talking about. It’s our favorite form of gambling, and we get antsy when we can't be out there perusing tables of used items on strangers’ driveways. Unlike gambling, however, we actually get something for our quarters. Today’s haul was light (often the case on a holiday weekend), but for $1.50 I came home with $40 worth of stuff.

Beats playing a slot machine any day.

I had my fingers crossed that I would run across some fusible webbing (used for sewing). And there it was at the very first sale—a whole 5 yard bolt of Wonder Under.


How much, I asked, and the guy said fifty cents. You speak my language, I told him. A lady near me giggled. I poked around but didn’t find anything else and went to pay. “Let’s see, that was seven dollars, right?” he deadpanned. “That’s right,” I agreed, handing him two quarters. Just then I noticed that his sweatshirt was emblazoned with a Comedy Central logo. So at least he was correctly labeled. And I have what will likely be a lifetime supply of this stuff.

I needed it to repair a spot on a sleeve that got splashed with some bleach.

I appliqu├ęd a small heart over it. Yes, wearing my heart on my sleeve, as the saying goes. The fabric was a scrap left over from the Ulla Popken skirt I remodeled a few days ago.

BTW, if you ever buy this stuff, it works way better to remove the paper backing and use parchment paper instead. Way, way better!

The next stop was a little further west than I normally drive, but there were so few sales I decided to check it out. Lots of stuff strewn across the yard, much of it still in boxes, completely disorganized and hard to check out. The guy running this sale was as affable as a Labrador puppy. I spotted a CD I wanted and asked how much.
“If you buy one,” he told me, “it's a dollar. But if you buy two, it's still a dollar.” I raised an eyebrow. “I want to get rid of stuff,” he added. I said if I couldn’t find a second CD I’d like to discuss his pricing policy. “Oh, okay, fifty cents,” he said. Those Lab puppies can never hold out. I found a fun paper airplane kit for a door prize, and now we were up to a dollar, which seemed to make him very happy.


When I finished looking around and went to pay him, he was talking to another guy. “Did you see that?” he said. “That guy just left without paying me.” We shook our heads in disgust. Seriously, stealing from a yard sale is so low. “Did you see how fast he drove away?”

“Here’s my dollar,” I said, handing it to him. “And I promise I'll drive away slowly.”

Last stop was a moving sale, and the family seemed like a really nice bunch. Have you ever been to a sale where the people didn’t get along, the parents snapping at the kids and making snarky remarks to each other? I walk away from those. These people were the opposite. There was a glass topped coffee table that a couple of people were looking at, priced at $25. The teenage daughter finally sold it for $20, and called to her parents, “Twenty bucks! I got twenty bucks for the table.” Mom and dad both cheered. A couple of minutes later the mother hollered out, “We’ve got a work bench and table saw in here!” Dad chimed in, “And a partridge…” and the rest of the family sang, “…in a pear tree!” I was about ready to ask if they’d like to adopt me, they sounded like so much fun. I picked up a couple of packets of stickers for a door prize, and the daughter told me they were free. My favorite word, after fifty cents!


When I got home I found that the box of goodies I won last week (without knowing I'd entered!) had arrived from Old Time Me Artist. Sher, thank you! She sent me this darling wicker tea cup and saucer (I think it has a small blooming plant in its future),
a lovely little pitcher (pancakes for breakfast tomorrow, so I can pour maple syrple from this),
a packet of notecards,
and this sweet vintage apron, which I believe was designed for wash day. The entire apron is a big pocket for holding your clothespins. I love it!

I'm back in the market for a largish mug. I was willing to live with not being able to put this one in the microwave (even 30 seconds made the cup so hot I burned my fingers).
But this morning the entire handle came off, and that I cannot put up with! Fortunately it only had cold water in it at the time, and I was standing in front of the sink.
So now I've broken two mugs in my search for the perfect one. Third time will be the charm, I just know it.

13 comments:

  1. I just enjoy your postings so much. I also get up early 6:30 not exactly 4 am but it is great.

    I wish I had the guts to go around to all these sales by myself. I someday hope so! In the meantime I will have fun looking at what you get.

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  2. I feel like I got to go with you, enjoyed yer post immensely!

    Gosh, that wicker teacup is the cutest danged thing I've seen, what a good giveaway prize ye got! And wouldn't a little African violet look sweet in it?

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  3. Congratulations on more driveway goodies! Oddly, there just are not good yard sales yet here in S. FLA. I don't get it, the weather is pefect for it. I feel the same way you do, if the people running it are ugly, I don't want to even look at their stuff. I almost had an altercation at Goodwill Friday. This lady was taking up the whole end of the short sleeved shirt row and the other end was blocked. So I said, "excuse me". Nothing. I waited a moment and said, "excuse me?" She says " I heard you the first time and I AM NOT DONE LOOKING AT THIS AISLE!" Very mean. She kind of scared me! I never got to look in that row. Clearly she owns the store till she's seen EVERYTHING herself!

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  4. Well hello. Thanks for your comment. Just curious, have you been reading for awhile or did you just come to my blog? How did you find me. Glad you had a good thrifting weekend too! Kelly

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  5. Oh good, you got your package! I'm glad you're enjoying your goodies! And good for you, recognizing that what I sent is a clothespin apron! I'm guessing it's from the '40's or '50's. The little pitcher is a vintage salad dressing holder but of course can be used for pancake syrup, creamer, whatever you wish! Mine is a monthly Giftaway, so I hope you come again and often!
    Hugs,
    Sher

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  6. I love your yardsaling posts! You make me feel like I am right there with you. What a fun day, even if you only got a few goodies!

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  7. neat! Thanks for replying. I didn't even know about such things as google reader saved searches. Several of my extended family live in So. Cal. We went to northern California for our honeymoon in October. Have a good Sunday. Kelly

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  8. (sigh) I do envy you, being able to go "saling" all year around. Here, sales don't start until May or so and last only through Sept.

    Go thrifting for the both of us!

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  9. Cool blog, and thanks for the comment. Yeah, my grandmothers got all kinds of amazing vintage things in that basement!

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  10. I looove it when I find exactly what I was looking for too!

    Who would imagine STEALING from a yard sale. I'm embarassed for the crook.

    Too bad about the mug, but your lucky one is just around the corner.

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  11. I love your blog (and the email correspondence with the bra company)!

    You're lucky there are so many yard sales near you. In Sydney, there aren't many good ones and the vintage shops are expensive relative to the Northern Hemisphere.

    I think the apron is lovely. Do you think you'll wear it out of the house? I hope so!

    Emma

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  12. my goodness, it's time for me to go to bed. G'Night

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  13. Hi QOFC:
    Just had a chance to catch up on several weeks of your blog and was once again delighted. Not only are you just full of good tips, your writing is SO entertaining!
    Marcia
    (okay, so the fact that you are one of my good friends doesn't change the sentiment!)

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

 
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